Discover Arm Balancing Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Superwoman Tutorial

5 min - Tutorial


In this short tutorial, Allison helps us learn how to use props to fit the needs of our bodies. Depending on each of our unique proportions, we may need more, fewer, or different props in order to feel supported so that we can experience correct alignment while we continue exploring our arm balances.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Blanket, Block (3)

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, and welcome back. So today's tutorial on side plank will be about how to make props fit your body. So not all setups are universal, and you might do what you're told. But then as you're exploring that setup, you may find that your shoulders really close to your ear, it's uncomfortable, and therefore the entire posture is uncomfortable. And we can't focus on perhaps some of the details that the props are meant to help us to explore. So in this tutorial, I'm going to use a chair, three blocks, and a blanket. The chair, don't worry, it doesn't need to be a backless chair, it's only meant to give you additional support and height. So grab two of your blocks and your blanket. You'll stack your blocks one on top of the other on the lowest height, and set it up so that the long edge of your block is parallel with the long with the short edge of your mat. Then place your blanket on top of your blocks, and that'll give you some padding. So I'll place my left hip on the center of the block, bring my hand out, and then stretch my legs to the side. So you can see here that I can push away, but it's quite low, right? It's very easy for me to do this, where my shoulder comes very close to my ear, and I sort of hang out here. And then I can push, and this is a much better place for me to be, but at the same time, I would benefit from just a little more height. So if I come out, and I add my third block, and you'll see this block is actually one of those half blocks. Again, find some padding, and this gives additional height as well. So I set up, I'm a little taller, so I just want to make sure that all my blocks are right on top of each other. And now I bring my hand out, straighten my legs, and can you see the difference, right? So the blocks come all the way up, my arm is able to fully extend, right? I can straighten my elbow all the way, and then I'm not hanging down into this space. Like this is actually uncomfortable. I need to push down in order to feel the support of the pose, okay? And I can bring my hand up. So depending on your proportions, you might actually need to have even more lift underneath your pelvis, right? Maybe the arm is longer. So bend your knees to come out if you're in it, press yourself up, and then we'll get our chair. Keep your blanket with you, you can push your blocks aside. Keep your blanket, grab your chair, and this can also be an ottoman, right? A really sturdy stool, those like one step stools. And I have the padding here because obviously this would be quite hard. Again, if your skin comes onto the side of the chair, you might prefer having the blanket oriented like this, okay? And my feet are going to float away from the floor. So it's going to be a little bit different than having the feet on the floor. So your hip comes to the outer edge, the edge of the chair that's closest to you, and then the side body leans over the blanket, feet lift up, and then the hand comes down, okay? So you're in a floating Vasishtasana. And you may notice here again, right? I really have to actually reach my arm down because of how much height I have underneath me and supporting me, right? And here, this makes it a little more attainable for me to be able to concentrate on what it is that I'm doing, right? So if I'm working on pushing my hand into the floor, moving my shoulder blade away from my spine, I can feel that better here, okay? If I want to work on the external rotation, so I'm going to spin my bicep out, I can do that, right? It's calm, it's easy, I'm supported. And the same thing, right? Now that I've externally rotated my upper arm, I can feel that weight strongly on my pinky finger, so I want to counter that, right? Create some pronation at the forearm. So then I push my index finger and thumb down, bicep is moving behind me, and the top of my forearm is moving towards this long edge of my mat that I'm looking at, okay? Then from there, you can feel the steadiness and the stability of the shoulder. You can bring the arm up. And to come out, bend the knees, place your hand down in front of you, sort of counterbalance your way up to come up. So when you're moving through the practices, if you find that you need a little extra support or a little extra tweaking, go for it, explore, so that you can really concentrate on the actions rather than I'm supposed to be on two blocks, even though I have another block nearby. Grab it, have fun with it.


Jenny S
4 people like this.
Floating version = brilliant. So comfortable I could watch Netflix while doing this 😅
1 person likes this.
Jenny S I love this comment so much!! We should rename it!

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