Instagram Public Photos with #yogawithriva

Hello handstand πŸ‘‹πŸΌ.
this pose is hands-down (sorry, cheesy pun 😜) the one i get asked about the most - comments, e-mails, & messages all wanting to know how to find hang time here. i also frequently get asked how long it took me to learn to handstand.
first let me say that the learning curve will vary for each individual. there's no magic number of weeks or months it takes to learn this pose. there are so many factors involved for each person.
second, by no means do i consider myself a handstand expert, i'm still working on improving my own, but i'm happy to share some pointers that have helped me find balance in my practice. πŸ’™
if you've recently started to hold your handstand there is a good chance it looks something like the image on the left - i know mine did. most of us are so happy to actually be holding it for more than 1-2 second to notice anything else, like alignment or form πŸ˜‚
so congrats on finding some balance here, now let's take a look at how to improve the body positioning, because that's what will help you hold this pose longer & keep your spine happy while you're there. πŸ‘πŸΌ
we want our handstand to be straight - wrists, shoulders, hips, and ankles should all be stacked, like the middle photo. the 'banana-back handstand' (left photo), shows what happens when the body is not aligned or engaged - the back is sinking, straining the body, & there is no control in the pose. πŸŒπŸ˜•
the spine should be in a neutral/hollow position, the shoulders fully extended, & the hands actively pushing the ground away. the quads, core, arms & shoulders are all actively engaged. toes are pointed and inner thighs & glutes are squeezing together. πŸ‘πŸ’ͺ🏼
a great way to work on alignment without having to worry about balance is to use the wall (see image on the right). with your front body facing the wall, fully extend your arms and shoulders (no bending), & keep your shoulder blades broad and lifted. now get the hips over the shoulders & wrists without allowing the back arch. πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ
did you guys find this helpful? tag a friend who is learning to handstand, & let me know if you want me to keep sharing more of these tutorials! ❀️
happy friday & happy practicing! 😍

July 2017 comment 114 star 9,197

A little progress pic, and a new blog post about how i got there. ❀️
the photo on the left is one i came across while sorting through files on an old computer a few weeks back. i remember taking that picture during a trip to chicago about 3 years ago, and thinking that i had been much deeper in the pose than i was after seeing the pic on my camera πŸ™ˆπŸ™Š
not that i was disappointed - this wasn't a variation i had practiced back then - but for some reason i'd expected it to be much more accessible than it was at the time. πŸ˜‚
these days chapasana has become a favorite pose, and i really enjoy practicing it fairly often. but the truth is that my hamstrings are not naturally very flexible, and any progress i've had in this posture is a direct result of a consistent practice. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ
there were no short-cuts, and as you can see the transformation didn't happen overnight. but even if i hadn't made as much physical progress as i did, i'd still be enjoying the practice every bit as much as i do. because the real reward lies in what we discover about ourselves along the way. ❀️
for anyone that would like to know which poses have helped me warm up & get deeper into this one, head over to my latest blog post to find out!
link in bio, or at: πŸ‘‡πŸΌ
www.rivagyoga.com/blog 😍

August 2017 comment 113 star 9,494

I’ll never forget the first time i watched my yoga teacher demonstrate visvamitrasana in class & then asked us all to give it a try... πŸ™ˆ while i wasn’t able to capture it on camera back then, i’d bet $$ it looked a lot like the first part of this video. 🀷🏻‍♀️
and if you find yourself relating to those first few seconds as well, you definitely shouldn’t fret - this pose is not only a challenging arm balance - but also a deep side bend, a hip-opener, a hamstring stretch, & a twist all at once. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ
while a consistent practice is always the key to mastering any posture, below are 5 additional ways to help make this pose even more accessible. i’m using a couple of favorite props to help me out here - the @gaiam foam roller & yoga wheel in this video are both available at @target (posting the link in my bio for the next 24 hours):
πŸ”Έ release inner thigh tension with foam roller:
- place the foam roller under your inner thigh and roll outward & back (12-20 reps on each side).
πŸ”Έ side body stretch with yoga wheel:
- drape yourself sideways over the wheel and gently rock to help lengthen & create space.
πŸ”Έ lizard pose with yoga wheel:
- lizard helps open the quads & hip flexors and this wheel variation gives a deeper stretch to the back leg while adding a more challenging balance (perfect prep for our final arm balance). πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ
πŸ”Έ extended side angle pose:
- this foundational pose is similar to visvamitrasana but requires less upper body & core strength.
πŸ”Έ ardha visvamitrasana with yoga wheel::
- having one shin grounded provides more stability to the supporting leg, while the wheel helps the extended leg stay elevated.
remember: πŸ‘‡πŸΌ
πŸ”Ήdon’t force anything. listen to your body, & take your time, the most important thing is how it feels (& it should feel good!)
many thanks to gaiam for sponsoring this tutorial. #everybodybends #gaiamanywhere πŸ™πŸΌ
did you guys find this helpful? tag a friend who is working on this arm balance, & let me know if you want me to keep sharing more tutorials! ❀️
happy practicing! 😍
ps. check my highlights to see my previous tutorials! #yogawithriva

December 2018 comment 143 star 4,625

Using the wall to stretch, part 3: a tutorial by winnie... πŸ˜‚β€πŸΆ
haha.. just when i thought i could quickly film this for you guys while winnie was napping in the corner, she popped up her head and came sauntering over to play as soon as i got onto my mat... its like she has a sixth sense that tells her it's 'yoga time' πŸ˜‚
anyhow, you guys asked to see more of my favorite wall stretches, so here you go! if you scroll back through my feed, you'll find part one was all about backbends and heart opening, and part two was hamstrings and hip-flexor stretches (all with assistance from the wall.)
this video focuses more on opening the shoulders and upper back. here are the poses i'm doing in this flow:
1. hollowback handstand - as you sink your b**t down, reach the chest forward. use the wall to get deeper into the pose, expanding the shoulders and upper back.
2. wheel pose with straight legs - think about distributing the bend into the thoracic spine as you activate the legs, pressing them into the wall.
3. forearm hollowback - any kind of hollowback pose works wonders for opening the shoulders... think about keeping your shoulders over your elbows.
4. forearm wheel, grabbing onto the foot (if this is accessible to you). this is a great way to practice getting deeper into this variation without having to worry about losing your balance and falling over.
it's important to work on distributing backbends evenly throughout the spine, and not just letting the lower back take on the brunt of the bend (which leads to injury over time).
using the wall helped deepen my backbend practice, and prepared me for holding some of these poses away from the wall when i was ready (like the last pose at the end).
happy practicing! remember to tag me if you give these a try! 😍
#yogawithriva #yogawithwinnie 🎡 cover of 'better together'

May 2017 comment 267 star 11,340

Well one of us finally got around to filming a headstand tutorial for you guys, while the other had more important things to do, like barking at squirrels & dozing off in the sun for most of the morning... 🐢
haha, clearly winnie has mastered the art of savasana πŸ’€, but for those of you working on headstand, this is for you!
sirsasana is often one of the first inversions we learn, but ironically can also be more dangerous for a beginner if practiced improperly.
the best way to keep our headstands safe is with proper alignment & enough strength in the body (especially shoulders & core) to protect our neck.
below are 5 exercises to help do just that!
first rule: don’t kick into headstand! 🚫
πŸ”Έ downdog to plank reps:
keep core engaged, arms & shoulders strong as you move from downdog to plank & back. (3 sets of 8)
πŸ”Έ forearm plank walks:
from forearm plank tiptoe your feet toward your elbows to get hips over your shoulders. walk feet back to forearm plank. (3 sets of 8)
πŸ”Έ headstand prep facing wall:
walk feet up the wall so legs are parallel to the ground & shoulders are over hips. press the floor away with your arms so that most of your weight is not on your head. lift one leg at a time, keep core engaged. (10 reps)
πŸ”Έ headstand prep:
(you can do this without the block, but i find it’s a nice reminder to keep the shoulders engaged.)
kneel & place block between wall & your upper back. elbows are shoulder width apart, pinkies touch. walk toes toward your elbows, & hips over shoulders.
lift legs up. press forearms down & create a straight line with your body (don’t sink back or shoulders).
πŸ”Έ headstand away from wall:
when you’re ready, remember:
- elbows are shoulder-width apart
- hips are over shoulders
- to protect the neck it’s crucial to engage the rest of the body (arms, shoulders, core, legs).
πŸ”Ήdon’t force anything. listen to your body, & take your time. the most important thing is how you feel & you should feel good!
did you guys find this helpful? tag a friend who is working on their headstand, & let me know if you want me to keep sharing more tutorials! ❀️
happy practicing! 😍
ps. for more tutorials scroll through hashtag: #yogawithriva

4 weeks ago comment 356 star 11,355

Handstand help, part 4: the entrance.
if your approach to handstand looks anything like the first part of this video (aka 'kicking your feet up into the air & hoping for the best'), don't worry you're not alone. i know mine used to 😹
the problem with that approach is that there's no guarantee you'll get up there, and even if you do get lucky, you most likely won't be able to hold it very long.
so let's look at a few options that will help you find that sweet spot (& maybe even hold it for awhile πŸ™ŒπŸΌ).
option 1: activate the muscles in both legs & arms. then with one knee bent, kick your other leg straight up to the sky, and pull your bent knee in toward your chest (this helps with control). think about reaching the toes of your straight leg upward while getting your hips over your shoulders & wrists. that's the alignment you ultimately need to hold the pose πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ
option 2: from downward-facing dog, bend both knees and jump your hips up into the air. keep the the legs wide and knees bent - this helps with balance. again, think about getting your hips over your shoulders. πŸ‘†πŸΌ
option 3: once you feel comfort with option 2, you can try this more advanced approach. from downward-facing dog, bend both knees and jump your legs into a straight pike position. and i know i sound like a broken record but: aim for getting the hips over the shoulders (can you tell that's an important factor? πŸ™Š)
there are many more ways to enter handstand, but these 3 were the ones that i find pretty accessible. 😊
once you feel comfortable with your entrance, think about your alignment - spine in a neutral/hollow position, shoulders fully extended, & hands actively pushing the ground away. keep the quads, core, arms & shoulders all actively engaged. πŸ’ͺ🏼
did you guys find this helpful? tag a friend who is learning to handstand, & let me know if you want me to keep sharing more of these tutorials! ❀️
happy practicing! 😍
ps. if you want to see parts 1-3 of handstand help just scroll through the hashtag: #yogawithriva

January 2018 comment 6 star 306

hanumanasana ↔ hanuman pose or monkey pose or seated splits pose on πŸ‘‰@yoga alignment
#yogamistakes with @riva_g_yogaπŸ‘ˆ
hanumanasana is a pose that on the surface looks like it's all about flexibility... and while it does require opening of the hip-flexors and hamstrings, there's also a lot of muscle activation happening here (as well as some gentle heart-opening too). ❀️
download my free app - 'riva g yoga' - to learn more about the splits and to access my latest video 'stretching for the splits.'
link to download is in bio, or search for 'riva g yoga' at the app store or google play. ❀️
#yogawithriva #yogaalignment #improveyourpractice .
@yoga practice @worldyoga @yoga

April 2017 comment 19 star 1,194

Image by @yoga.tutorials
@riva_g_ on the deepening effects of a wall
using the wall to deepen your practice, part 4 ❀
since you guys have been so appreciative of these flows, and because i love sharing how i use the wall to warm up & stretch, i put together a few more of my favorites for you to try out. πŸ’ͺ🏼
so far we've done backbending warm-ups, hamstrings & hip-flexor stretching, and upper back & shoulder opening. this video focuses on how to use the wall to get deeper into those yummy backbends 😍
here is the series i'm doing in this flow:
1. standing backbend - push your arms into the wall while lifting your heart upwards. using the wall to walk your hands down to the ground is a also great way to prepare for drop-backs without the wall.
2. wheel pose - pressing your chest toward the wall will get your shoulders over the wrists (which is what we ultimately want in a backbend).
3. forearm hollowback - i've said it before, and i'll say it again... hollowback is one of the best ways to really open up those shoulders πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ
4. forearm stand - i'm doing a few variations here including scorpion pose, but you can practice any variation that you enjoy. the wall helps with the balance so that you can focus on getting deeper into the bend.
5. chinstand - again i'm doing a few variations here, some of them are pretty deep backbends, but start with the variations that work for you and feel good.
the key with any practice is to only push yourself only as far as what feels right for you, and never ignore signs of pain. move slowly and mindfully (this vid was sped up slightly to fit under a minute), and most importantly, remember to breathe 😍
happy practicing! don't forget to tag me if you give these a try! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ
#yogawithriva #yoga #yogatutorial #yogavideo

last month comment 17 star 688

'yoga means union - the union of body, mind, and soul; the union of ego and spirit; the union of the mundane and the divine.'
~ deepak chopra
#love #unity #light ✨❀️✨
wearing @glyderapparel

July 2015 comment 81 star 4,972