Beyond Banana Back


So you caught some hangtime and felt the sensation of floating. That's fantastic! The first few moments of inverting in a handstand are an unrivaled experience. But then what? Almost without fail, the un-coached handstand begins to take the shape of a backbend i.e. "the banana-back handstand." This happens for a few main reasons:

1) Lack of awareness in the pelvis
2) Lack of openness in the shoulders
3) Compensation in the lumbar spine for lack of engagement elsewhere

In my practice I have been a culprit and therefor a great example of what not to do. But I did my utmost to seek out and train under people who are masterful in their handstand abilities. Luckily at Thunderbolt Power Yoga, Carly Grace is not only masterful in her own practice but has a distinct talent for teaching as well. One of my most recent “Aha!” moments came to me while taking Carly’s Fundamental of Flying Workshop in early Fall 2016. The way she described the breath was different than I heard it described previously. Sure enough it has greatly impacted the ease with which I navigate into handstands, hold handstands in good position, and even play with leg variations. The proof is in the pictures though - as you can see there is a clear banana back going on in both of the top pictures. With time, consistent effort, and consistent willingness to humble myself and start fresh, I’m happy to note a big shift in the line between my hands, shoulders, hips and feet. Come take class with Carly or me for more cues, tips and assists into the realm of flight. Or, for in-depth coaching take Fundamentals of Flying this January 30th from 2-3:30pm. See you in the #yogastorm


Teacher Reading Series - Carlina: "There is wisdom in sadness..."

“There is wisdom in sadness, truth in sorrow. Cheerfulness is lovely, like a spring blossom. But winter brings its own revelation. If there is one thing I've learned from the practice of yoga, it's not to run from pain. Your pain is your greatest teacher. The cracks in your “cheerfulness filter” set on your life are actually your greatest asset. Sorrow brings earnestness, longing, justice, and compassion. Doubt can lead you to humility, true self-confidence, and even a return to innocence. There is beauty and grace in sadness. Like the elegance of rain, periods of apparent suffering are often important times of growth, resetting your inner clock to a time-zone closer to your spiritual home. If you are suffering right now, don't run and don't give up. Instead, dig in, dive deeply down, and just experience it, get comfortable with it. Make friends with your tears and let them be your teacher. Let the search for meaning guide to you a new spiritual lesson and see the truth revealed through your trials and tribulations. It's there, hiding in the fragility of a raindrop and in the perfection of a snowflake, the hidden meaning of it all, so simple and yet totally complex, perfectly whole and yet glimmering in a thousand little pieces of love.”
- Kino McGregor


Teacher Reading Series - Carlina: Love is what is left...

“Love is what is left when you let go of the things you love. Letting go is closely linked to the idea that we have to shed things that "no longer serve us." In yoga the idea of non-attachment only just begins by allowing negative associations and relationships to dissolve. If that is the beginning of the path, then what is the end? The end is to relinquish all attachments to all things, including those you love. We are so much more than physical beings. As your practice strengthens, your breath slows and your mind quiets. Beyond distractions and pain, there is love. Not the physical love of romance, the familiarity of friends, the steadfastness of parental love; each of us has the ability to go beyond and into a love so big it touches everyone and everything at once, without being limited to any one person or thing - pure, infinite, world-changing love. And so we practice, we sit and take space and time, we let go of that which no longer serves us and also the things that do. We practice so that our love can be bigger, stronger, less selfish and more impactful. Because in the end, but also right now, the people and things we love are all just things - physical things, and not love itself. Love is what is left when you let go of all the things you love. “  
- Carlina Muglia