justinwolferyoga justinwolferyoga

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Justin Wolfer  Guernsey | Saratoga Springs, NY Director of Rise Yoga & Movement Arts Center - Retreat To the Greek Island Amorgos April 22-29

Not all paths are created equal.

Not all teachers/coaches/mentors are created equally.

This is not to discourage or discredit anyone from teaching, only to encourage individual retrospection in to what has impacted us most in creating long lasting change and what has not.

When I first became interested with the handstand my only strategy was to kick up until I was blue in the face. As I took more workshops I started to take some of the drills from various teachers and implemented them randomly and practice sporadically. I made some gainz but it all seemed so exoteric and outside my scope of knowledge.

My aim in teaching handstand is to debunk this immediately. All it is is weight shift. Stable base of support ➡️ move the center of mass ➡️ stable base of support ➕ Controlled center of mass = balance.

Unquestionably my greatest period of progress was when I used the gymnasticbodies online training program for a period of three consecutive months. I went from 10-30 second holds without an understand of what I was trying to do up there to consistent 60 seconds holds with a clear understanding of what I was trying to accomplish and how to train it. They made the process simple and all I had to do was put in the consistent effort.

One thing I took from this experience is that being specific is of the utmost importance if you are trying to accomplish something specific.

Being vague about my goals and my execution of these goals is a sure fired way to fall back into old patterns which yield old results. I can occasionally see progress at times by employing old patterns. I can can see progress while still using stale old motives, seeking out validation and evidence to prove that I am no longer as I once was. But these wins feel fleeting at best. Circling around my goals feels like avoidance. Meeting them head on feels in alignment with what I value most.

If you’re looking for a simple program to follow including practices to prepare the joints, find the alignments, develop strength in the alignment, and then work the skill of shifting your body weight into the hands - https://vimeo.com/ondemand/154319

Self care is advertised as warm bubble baths and my own unique blend of essential oils... Those things may be pleasant and provide some temporary comfort but I won’t ever get rid of the things in my life that I find uncomfortable and unpleasant. In fact trying to do so moves me further away from being able to skillfully work with circumstances that I’m avoiding.
So I have a choice to design my life around people and circumstances that keep me comfortably numb and distanced from my suffering or I can dive directly into this work... these are 2 very distinct paths often blurred on social media

Baby got back. Wait... Baby don’t want no banana back? Oh

Trying to get rid of the arches in your handstand?

The secret to eliminating the curves in your inversions is through engaging seemingly opposing actions to create to stability. The only thing that will keep your spine and hips still is muscular engagements.

I’ve been teaching this 90/90 handstand split version to shorten the stance a little and emphasize the engagement between posterior pelvic tilt, hip extension and spinal flexion.

Try these exercises:
In Bridge work on maintaining posterior pelvic tilt and the moving into hip extension without arching your back. For posterior pelvic tilt think pulling your front waistband up, back waistband down and holding it tightly. Press into the floor with your heal to move the hips forward into extension and hug the low rib in and down towards your waistband. Try this while holding the other leg in hip flexion at 90 degrees and pushing against the leg with the hand to maintain muscle tension. Remember tension is your friend in the static handstand. Next try this from table top maintaining these engagements while pushing yourself back to a downward dog shape. Finally test these activations in chest facing the wall and kicking up with your back facing the wall. If you’re doing these activations your weight should not fall towards the wall. Tag someone that’s frustrated with their handstand practice. I’m happy to answer any questions 🤸‍♂️👊

Handstand Lab today 11am, Niskayuna, NY @poweryoganewyork

What is some thing(s) that you can change immediately to improve upon your handstand without adding any new skills or information?

Two immediate adjustments: 1. To approach practice with Curiosity instead of predisposed idea of how the practice should go. Even when I notice I am holding onto a predisposed idea can I become curious about what I am holding onto and how it influences my practice? 2. To approach the practice with patience instead of.... well impatience. Often I associate patience with having to wait and wait and be disappointed over and over but the patience I’m talking about is like Rocky going 15 rounds with the Russian. There’s nothing dull about it. It’s your best for as long as it takes. As many punches as it takes to find your way in. And then replicate it. Do it again and again. Impatience is looking for one lucky shot because you’re tired of waiting. Impatience is being bored with the process. Impatience is giving up. Never starting. This is my own little jail cell. Confined by my own expectations and judgements.

By the way, are you coming?

Photo by the wifey @camacha_rees

CARs - assess the joint workspace ➡️ control the workspace ➡️ expand the workspace
CARs stands for Controlled Articular Rotations and is an integral part of of the @functionalrangeconditioning system founded by @drandreospina ...
It’s simple in theory. Rotate the joint at its end ranges of movement to establish your workspace for the joint. Once the workspace is established gain maximal neurological control in this area and clean up the tissue to improve the function. Once the foundation is established begin to load the joint in specific ways to expand the joints movement capacity which includes improving the joints range of motion, improving control over that range and improving the joints load barring capacity. It’s a systematic approach towards optimizing human movement potential. Simple and profound! Have you done your CARs today? ....
Video sped 15x’s

With all of this traveling lately I have caught the travel bug.

Join us on the untouched Greek Island Amorgos April 22-29 for retreat and adventure. Since my wife and I are officially moving next month we want to encourage our American friends to join us with a special %10 discount off the trip if you make a $500 deposit in the next two weeks. We will practice 2-3 times per day including skillful Vinyasa practices, workshops, handstand, mobility, seated meditation training, and sunrise Chi Jung on the roof over looking the Aegean Sea. We will hike and visit 1000 year old monasteries. Eat the most delicious, fresh and local food. Relax and swim on remote world class beaches all to ourselves overlooking the crystal blue water of the Aegean Sea. We’ll take an unforgettable sunset boat tour of the island. And stay at a 5 star resort with a staff that treats you like family. Needless to say we are pumped! Rooms during the busy summer season go for $500 per night. This trip includes room, classes, 2 world class meals per day, the sunset boat trip and monastery tour for only 1450 US for single occupancy or $1200 for double. Our flight last year was under $600s! This is the trip of a lifetime and very doable. Act soon and get an extra 10% off. Are you in? Check out the link - https://risemovementarts.com/retreats/
Comment if you have any questions! #sayYes #DoIt

Airport circuit to shake off the dust (sped up 4xs). Done 5 sets for health, longevity and strange looks from the locals. *Warm up not included.

Scapular pushups w side over arches
Suit case Cossack squats
Scorpion pushups
Bridge rotations
funky Pistols

One thing you may notice is these exercises seem random to be together and that’s not random by design. I’m moving the body stabilize through multiple planes of movement to move all the joints in a randomized way cuz life is pretty random. One common pitfall of training is trying standardize training into linear straight forward movements using only one plane which only prepares for straight forward movements limiting our exposure to other planes of move ie life.

Is there?..

Stuff to do with a medicine ball and the paradox of life...

What I seek to become, the person I aspire to be, the things I want to achieve most can be my undoing. If I fear not getting there I unknowingly create the opposite of my deepest wishes. Who is a person that cannot express their own highest values?

Rambling from an American dude in Europe headed back to his girls. Only to head back to Europe in a month with his girls and his medicine ball 🌶

Documenting my move from America to the UK.

I am looking forward to researching and sharing on social media subtle differences I notice between America and Europe. I don’t aim to say that one place is better then the other but I think we are at an important point in time where we can say collectively that enough is enough with treating our environment and the living beings that inhabit it inhumanely. And it’s important to share what is working in other parts of the world to address these collective issues that effect all of us.

I ate in a cafe this morning in guernsey, UK and was surprised to see Heinz ketchup on the table. I don’t eat Heinz ketchup in America because it has high fructose corn syrup and probably other stuff. I looked at the label and in Europe the Heinz ketchup does not have these things. The label clearly states: “no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, thickeners.” It’s a simple ketchup recipe. I also Included a label I found online to verify that this still the case that American Heinz ketchup has good old high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and natural flavors which can be just about anything in the US. So this company produces a different product in different parts of the world. One is simple real food and one is pumped with junk for probably a larger profit margin. I had the European Heinz ketchup this morning and it was delicious. No need for corn syrup crack! The reason I wanted to share this is that Americans need to know about this double standard. I’m not ok with American kids being fed junk that other parts of the world are not so that these massive food companies make giant profits. It’s evil! Only we can hold our government and large corporations accountable. Curious to hear your thoughts on this #oneworld

I had the great privilege of leading a yoga class this morning to begin the Guernsey Pride Parade. I think the ultimate freedom to be had in life is to be fearlessly expressive of who you are. Yoga is an internal practice that aims at removing the obstacles to this and Pride is a movement that recognizes the inequalities that individuals face because they choose to be themselves. #pride🌈


The concept of prehabilitation was introduced to me by @gymnasticbodies It implies that you progressively prepare joints you intend to stress during training. Up until this point I had never considered this. In Yoga I just assumed that everything would just sort itself out. Maybe it will but most likely not if you have weak links they should be addressed before adding more stress. It sounds shortsighted to train until something goes wrong. Prepare your body for sustained success is prehab.

When I first began working with @upstatevegangirl (only 4 months) she was experiencing wrist pain during practice and needed to modify weight bearing poses like downward facing dog. She has worked to build true mobility in her joints and the work is paying off as she is holding 30 second assisted Handstands pain free. The sky is the limit for her as she continues to work intelligently. Looking forward to seeing her continued progress 🤸‍♂️🤸‍♂️🤸‍♂️

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