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Press Up Workshop with Oliver

oliverIf you haven’t already signed up for Oliver’s Press Up Workshop, happening this Sunday May 29th at Vaughan from 2:30-4:30 PM, I highly recommend you check it out. Oliver will be explaining the kind of core and upper body strength that it takes to press up into arm balances, and will give you a series of vinyasa sequences designed to build that strength.

I got to ask Oliver a bit more about the workshop and his own personal practice, which you can read about below. This is definitely going to be a workshop that you don’t want to miss!

Q: In your yoga journey, what drew you to arm balances?

Oliver: “I took up yoga because I was unhappy and had gotten very, very good at living my life poorly, and I hoped yoga would help me get healthier in body and mind. I figured that if I hoped to have any success, it would require work and a commitment to the process. I thought arm balances were fun and that gave me something to look forward to during the ‘work’ of my daily practice.”

Q: Why is the workshop entitled “Press Up”?

Oliver: “In my classes I use the cue, ‘bring your hands to the floor, lift through your core and press up.’ The ‘press up’ simply refers to lifting up into an arm balance.”

Q: Is this workshop going to be talking about the importance of core only in relation to arm balances, or in relation to your yoga practice in general?

Oliver: “I think it will emphasize the importance of core strength with regard to a general yoga practice, but with the expression of that strength being arm balances. I remember the day I noticed I had more balance in a basic standing posture because I was able to stabilize myself through my core area and it was a revelation. Before that moment, I’d always thought of postures as starting from the feet up to the torso through the legs and hips, or from the hands to the torso through the arms and shoulders. Now, I think of postures as starting from the core and making their way out to the extremities. With regard to the importance of core strength and arm balances, I feel much, much lighter when I’m able to integrate the upper half of my body and the lower half of my body through my core, so that will be a point of emphasis.”

Q: What are some of the arm balances you are aiming to move towards with this workshop?

Oliver: “I’ll be teaching the students how to keep their arms straight while lifting their feet up off the floor and into an arm balance- things like learning to go from child’s pose into crow with straight arms (which I believe is called ‘crane’ in some styles of yoga), or how to go into crow/crane from chair pose, or from upward dog into crow/crane… basically, a lot of getting into crow/crane with straight arms. It’s not necessarily that crow/crane is the objective, rather it’s a nice place to reach for when people are learning how to press up.”

Q: What are some of YOUR favourite arm balances?

Oliver: “I don’t know if I have a favourite arm balance, if I have to pick one, I’ll say that the process is my favourite. I don’t have a pose that I like more than any other.”


See you at Vaughan this Sunday!

Photo credit Tim Bermingham.
For more information on the workshop, click here.