During last months Wanderlust event, I had the opportunity to watch the world renown Brazilian hand balancer Miguel Sant’ana in action. Everywhere he went he drew a crowd of spectators as he effortlessly transitioned from one beautiful handstand to another even more breathtaking version.
In fact Miguel is so well regarded in his handstand prowess that during Cameron Shane’s workshop “Zero Gravity” he called upon Miguel to demonstrate the postures on his behalf.
Last night I had the opportunity to attend Miguel’s Handstand Masterclass. Miguel LOVES handstands and it shows, he talks with such passion and enthusiasm and his one goal for everyone in the room was to have fun because “Handstands bring joy”.
This is not my first handstand workshop so I kind of knew what to expect (eg lot’s and lot’s of core work) but what I found refreshing is that he kept everything so simple, teaching and drilling each step before moving onto the next, Miguel didn’t teach us anything that we didn’t need to know (yet). For him the art of handstanding is like a journey on the underground, you can’t get to Piccadilly Circus from Regent’s Park unless you go through Oxford Circus first.
A prime example of this was when the class was working through hollow body positioning drills, which is the position you need to be in to hold a straight line whilst upside down on your hands. Someone asked “What about the kick up? I struggle with that part the most” and his immediate reply was “I won’t be teaching the kick up until I am sure you can find and hold the correct body positioning” he continued “Some of you may not even get to the kick up today, but it’s pointless to kick up, if you don’t have a position to get into”.
Fair call Miguel, fair call.
For the record after attending handstand workshops at Wanderlust I felt a bit lost, although I found Cameron Shanes “cobra hood” and Nikki Ralstons “fingers, fingers, abs cues” useful I didn’t quite know how to transfer what I knew into what I practiced. However, last night we drilled, drilled and drilled some more to lay the foundation for our muscle memory and I’m excited to see how I progress now especially since Miguel left us with homework.
My “power abs” need work and after holding a freestanding straight line with Miguel I now know what a straight line feels like, previously I’ve been able to hold a “straightish” line but more because I was handbalancing than handstanding. Believe me there is a difference, I just never realised till Miguel mentioned it.
If you want to stand on your hands, I strongly suggest you look up Miguel and then do your homework. Just remember “pretty fingers, pretty elbows, pointy toes”, it’s not just about being getting yourself upside down, but how pretty you can make it look. 😉
Till next time