One of the draws to Yoga is that it releases the inner child in you. Hand stands, back bends, and all sorts of fun gymnastic-like movements. What I love about Yoga is that it is a great way to increase flexibility and strength all the while you are working on using your breath and your mind to accomplish some pretty challenging poses. One of the poses that is so fun to try out is the Pincha Mayurasana.
Here is a brief description of how to perform this challenging, but fun Yoga pose:
1. From downward dog, bring your forearms and elbows down to the mat.
Draw your core muscles in to support your spine. Spread your fingers wide, press the base of your index finger into the mat and begin to breath deeply. (Don't hold your breath!) In the beginning you can practice near a wall until you build up the core strength to do it on your own.
2. Slowly walk your feet up toward your face, until your shoulders
and hips are stacked over your elbows. Push your chest toward your legs
to create 90 degree angles at your elbows.
3. Lift one leg up to the sky and activate your glute muscles to help you control your movement. Try to create a straight line from your elbows all the way to the toes of your top foot.
4. Rise onto the tip toes of your bottom foot and begin to shift your weight off of your bottom foot and onto your forearms.
5. Once you have shifted all of your weight onto your forearms, you
may bring the bottom leg up to meet the top, finding balance in classic Pincha Mayurasana. Stay for 5-10 breaths.
6 . Feel your body reaching up through the toes and keeping a strong base in your forearms and shoulders. You can also split the legs. Even with split legs, feel your body reaching up, rather than sinking down. Keep the 90 degree bend in your elbows.
7. Be sure to breathe and have fun. Don't rush, use control and slowly return to your mat.