Last weekend we hosted Beach Yoga Girl at Y2 Yoga. I really enjoy practicing with and learning from out of town teachers and it’s even more fun when you get to host them at your studio!
If you’re not familiar with Beach Yoga Girl her real name is Kerri Verna and she’s an “Insta-famous” yogi from Florida who is widely followed for her beautiful yoga photos and monthly yoga challenges that she hosts with Kino MacGregor. She has over 800,000 followers and an absolutely stunning feed.
Kerri led two workshops. Handstands on Friday night and core strength and inversions on Saturday afternoon. She was absolutely lovely and very personable. I loved that she arrived at the studio over 30 minutes early each day so that she could meet and greet and stayed after the workshops to take as many photos as people wanted to take.
We had over 70 people each day for the workshops. I didn’t take Friday night’s handstand workshop but I was in the room helping out and taking photos. Everyone had a blast. Kerri makes handstands and inversions really accessible to all levels of students. One of her favorite hashtags is #noperfectpeopleallowed.
Kerri shared that she’s only been practicing inversions for a little over three years. She was candid about the injuries she experienced in the beginning as a result of just “throwing herself up there to get the photo.” She stressed the importance of having a process around your inversions and developing the strength and stability to balance on your hands to reduce the risk of injury. She also encouraged workshop participants to ask themselves why they really want to do handstands and inversions. Is it because handstands are fun and empowering and make you feel happy and strong or is it for ego and status?
Kerri works with a circus trainer once a week on her handstands. How crazy and fun is that!? She gave everyone a variety of strengthening exercises to add to our routines and shared that she does five sets of one-minute handstand holds against the wall every day. The reason for doing them against the wall is to press your low back towards the wall in order to encourage abdominal and glute engagement and prevent the low back sway.
Here’s a video of our workshop attendees taking the one minute challenge. Note, if you’re not comfortable with handstand against the wall, a great place to start is holding handstand on your back on the floor. It’s WAY more challenging than it looks.
In Saturday’s core and inversions workshop we did work with headstands, jump backs and jump throughs, forearm balance and more handstand work. Kerri didn’t allow us to go into any inversion with both legs straight up and I couldn’t have agreed more with the way that she teaches inversions. I am forever telling my students that they need to get controlled hang time with hips over shoulders before they ever worry about lifting both legs.
We can’t wait to have Kerri back again soon! If she’s teaching a workshop in your area, I recommend attending if you are looking to nail the foundations of inversions and learn more about how to strengthen the body to prepare for them.
Do you follow Beach Yoga Girl? Have you ever taken an inversions workshop? Would you want to?