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Level 2
20 min

Build Strength for Inversions

Vinyasa Flow | By Tiffany Cruikshank on Aug 15 2012
A short 20min class that is meant to be used repetitively to build strength for inversions.  You can use this class on it's one or use it before or after another class.  There is no warm up or cool down just the important stuff for building strength over time.  If you're using it on its own start with some sun salutations and cool down after as you like and end with a brief savasana.  I recommend starting with it 1-2 times a week building strength slowly and then maybe 3-4 times a week, stick to this for 1-3 months then you'll be ready to rock your arm balances!


A short 20min class that is meant to be used repetitively to build strength for inversions. You can use this class on it's one or use it before or after another class. There is no warm up or cool down just the important stuff for building strength over time. If you're using it on its own start with some sun salutations and cool down after as you like and end with a brief savasana. I recommend starting with it 1-2 times a week building strength slowly and then maybe 3-4 times a week, stick to this for 1-3 months then you'll be ready to rock your arm balances!


  • Amy C     Oct 12th, 2014
    Amazing! This class really woke up my muscles and helped me understand how to engage them in pincha. Thank you Tiffany!
  • Jane McIntosh     Jul 27th, 2014
    Hi Tiffany,
    This was a great class to compliment the Inversion Elixir workshop yesterday I attended with you. I am focused on my way towards that free standing handstand. Thank you for showing me pelvis leads the way. Those hops really helped. :) You are a wonderful teacher. THANK YOU.
  • Juli Jamison     Jul 22nd, 2014
    Yes- DEFINITELY have to keep this as part of one's practice. Just came back to this after a while "away" (though still practicing yoga faithfully) and sweet mercy I couldn't hold anything :o! It's just persistence and practice practice practice...
  • Cameron Brown     Jun 10th, 2014
    Don't be fooled by the 20 minute time frame, this class is no joke...a strength builder no doubt!
  • Tanjariitta Anttila     May 23rd, 2014
    Will need to repeat and repeat and repeat this one, however humbling that feels. :-) Nothing like a reality check on how much strength I *don't* have! Good training in non-judgement... Whew.
  • Michael Turino     Apr 27th, 2014
    Hi Tiffany,
    I can do the forearm balance without too much trouble, but those dolphin variations are way hard, especially with the legs on the wall. I will have to come back to this. How about a handstand tutorial. I need to figure out the mechanics of maintaining balance for more than a few seconds. Thanks
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     May 25th, 2014
      Love the suggestions. Thanks Michael!
  • Amanda Bancroft     Mar 31st, 2014
    love the crops! where are they from??
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     May 25th, 2014
      Thanks Amanda, they're an old pair of nike's I have. 😊
  • Amanda Amburgey     Mar 29th, 2014
    AH yeah! Thanks for this class too!
  • Erica Zerbe     Mar 3rd, 2014
    For a class about building UP to inversions, this certainly required a lot of strength to begin with. I couldn't do most of these exercises with proper form (which negates the whole point).
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Mar 3rd, 2014
      I can see that Erica, it's an intense one I agree. I was going at it from the point of building strength to overly prepare you for what's to come. Lol. Try just doing half of it or even a few mins, you'll build attend over time and eventually find yourself finishing it. Good news it you won't need a lot of time to do it and once you get through it you will be very well prepared and have the confidence you need to start sampling out some of the inversions. :)
  • Michelle Peterson     Nov 7th, 2013
    WOW!! Right at my edge- wonderfully intense. I'm gonna save this one to come back to.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Nov 12th, 2013
      Great to hear…. ;)
  • Jes Raschella     Sep 1st, 2013
    thank you :)
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Nov 12th, 2013
  • Maricelle Campbell     Aug 23rd, 2013
    This is an AMAZING class! I struggle with forearm balances so will definitely need to work this into my schedule. Thanks Tiffany!!! :)
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Nov 12th, 2013
  • Tahmour Bloomfield     Jul 31st, 2013
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Nov 12th, 2013
  • Meaghan de Roos     Jun 4th, 2013
    This class kick my ass. Thanks Tiffany.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Jun 20th, 2013
      lol :)
  • Garnet Reardon     May 13th, 2013
    Really great arms were shaking like crazy:) I obviously need to practice this one some more! Thanks.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Jun 20th, 2013
      Nice :)
  • Juli Jamison     Apr 24th, 2013
    With all the work done on the forearms and back this has been great for me to build strength while recovering a hand injury. To accommodate for injury I have replaced the handstand holds with forearm stands and the forearm stand hold with sirsasana and I have seen my progression in strength- when I first started I couldn't maintain any of the holds the full time but now hold them all and can even do pincha mayurasana without the wall for the most part...though I set up about a foot away just in case;)
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Apr 27th, 2013
      That's perfect Juli, glad its working for you! :)
  • kristin vestrheim     Feb 3rd, 2013
    i loved parts of this, but i was disappointed that there was lots of handstands - i'm not strong enough to do them yet and i thought this class was about building up to them.
  • Svetlana Winslow     Jan 28th, 2013
    Awesome. Loved it. Thank you.
  • Ellen Horovitz      Jan 20th, 2013
    Great arm strength builder! Thank you!
  • Sarah Torri     Dec 12th, 2012
    Girl....I should have known...strength building means This Is Hard. But I love it and will add yet another of your classes to my favorites list. Thanks, bless you, namaste.
  • Valerie Bowers     Nov 30th, 2012
    I'm working back up to my pre-baby practice and this was so fun and exactly what I needed (short & effective), thanks!
  • Anthony Scott     Nov 30th, 2012
    I thought I had strong shoulders.. Wow, guess not. I can barely hold a handstand for one minute. Looking forward to my future handstand. Namaste <3
  • B. Juliánna Nagy     Nov 14th, 2012
    hm, in what Universe is this a level 2 practice? just wondering.
  • Mia Mironov     Nov 8th, 2012
  • Mia Mironov     Nov 8th, 2012
  • Nadia Rqm     Nov 2nd, 2012
    great prep for upper body strength. Tiffany I am curious regarding the last pose where you keep your elbows off the ground in sort of a downward dog... what part of the muscles does it work on? I feel it all along the outer arm, armpit up to my shoulders.
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Nov 4th, 2012
      I think you're referring to the turbo dog? (Down dog with elbows bent). If so that's triceps, pecs, delta, lats mostly so you're feeling it in the right place. :)
  • Sarah Jane     Oct 5th, 2012
    I LOVED the garudasana sit ups! The most fun and creative supine core work I have come across :)
  • Tiffany Cruikshank     Sep 16th, 2012
    Glad you guys are enjoying it! ;)
  • Ginny Ginny     Aug 28th, 2012
    Thanks for this great class, Tiffany. After repeating this class 3 times over 3 days, my handstand practice has improved significantly! In fact, I finally managed to hold a free stand handstand for a full 10 seconds (and I practice handstands daily)! Fantastic stuff. Namaste!
  • Izarra Varela     Aug 22nd, 2012
    This is SO not a Level 2 class! ... but this is a great idea for a class, and one that I'll be coming back to regularly. Thanks, Tiffany.
  • Pam Walker     Aug 18th, 2012
    Great practice, as ALWAYS! You are such an inspiration to me, Tiffany! I, like many others, have not mastered the kick up thing yet. I HAVE however, discovered (?invented) a technique that is helping me. Instead of trying to kick up against a wall, I go into my hallway, which is about three and a half feet wide. This allows me to walk up the wall, like in your L shaped inversion...but I continue up till I'm able to straighten out, and then I have the OTHER wall to help me balance! I really like this! Just one word of caution to my fellow yogis if you decide to try aware of any light fixtures you might kick!
    Many Thanks, Tiffany!!
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Sep 16th, 2012
      Love it Pam, that works. When you're trying to kick up lead with your sacrum and dont forget to lift that second leg up, that will usually do the trick. ;)
  • Maurey Lancaster     Aug 18th, 2012
    I love this as an add-on class but I think it is more a 2/3 level vs a straight 2. Thank you and I am looking forward to your detox yoga sessions next week on holiday!
  • Phillippa Johnson     Aug 18th, 2012
    So much harder than I expected - I have some work to do :) thank-you!
  • Tiffany Cruikshank     Aug 17th, 2012
    Thanks guys, glad you're enjoying it! :)
  • Tiffany Cruikshank     Aug 17th, 2012
    The pants are nike, if you can't find them check out Teeki, they have some similar that are made out of recycled plastic. :)
  • Tiffany Cruikshank     Aug 17th, 2012
    Alexis- for forearm balance just repeat dolphin or kick up at the wall and for handstand if you can't kick up at the wall turn around and walk your feet up like we did in this video on our forearms. :)
  • Alexis Mascitti     Aug 17th, 2012
    Kick-a**. Great shoulder/arm workout after a long run today. Love the work with legs 90 degrees at the wall - tough, but a fun way to transition into the full pose.
  • M'Le Leach     Aug 17th, 2012
    I freakin love you Tiffany! :) I did a simple 30 minute class from Kathryn before this one so I was a little warmed up for it, but my shoulders were not ready. I will definitely be doing this multiple times a week! Thank you so much! And, of course, I love your leggings. :) xoxo
  • KC Immler     Aug 17th, 2012
    Much harder than I expected, but exactly what I need.... thanks so much!
  • Elena Lowenthal     Aug 17th, 2012
    This was very similar to Ana Forrest work. Would love the longer version of this class which would include all 3 major inversions - headstand, handstand and forearmstand. Thanks, Elena
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Aug 17th, 2012
      Glad you liked it, I love some good Forrest core work. I'll keep it in mind for next time. ;)
  • Mahala Helf     Aug 16th, 2012
    Why not some tips & clues on how to kick up i to the wall in handstand, or at least an alternative for those who have been trying to do this many times? The first 14 minutes were so basic, yet each pose had adaptations & tips. Living proof that breezing thru the first 14 minutes of prep does not mean you have whatever it takes to kick up to the wall, and that trying to over & over while the teacher counts out how long to hold the pose over many classes doesn't seem to build it.
    • Jeanette Darbyshire     Aug 17th, 2012
      Hi Mahala. I did a class with Noah Maze quite a while ago which was pretty helpful. It is called Build up to Handstand Mentally & Physically and was posted on 3rd June 2011. Maybe worth a try?
    • Tiffany Cruikshank     Aug 17th, 2012
      Hey Mahala, If you can't kick up at the wall just try turning around and walking the feet up the wall just like we did on our forearms. You can also just keep kicking up while I count too, that's actually usually harder and will build up strength as well until one day tada-you're up there. :) whatever you choose will be helpful, sometimes it takes a little time to build up the strength to get up there, don't get discouraged. Also check out some of our other classes or workshops for more detailed instruction on how to setup, this is simply meant to be a get in there and build strength class, so that it's quick and can be done over and over. Hope hat helps. :)
      • Melissa Lopez     Aug 17th, 2012
        Your explanation hear and below-SUPER helpful. Thanks!!
        • Melissa Lopez     Aug 17th, 2012
          *here :)
      • Mahala Helf     Aug 17th, 2012
        Thanks Tiffany. Haven't been able to find any tips on what ?muscles? to access/strengthen for the propulsion to kick up, either here on Yogaglo or in realtime classes. Have found lots of fine tuning tips for those who can kick up with or w/o the wall.
        Practicing the static L pose(including one leg up) hasn't translated--tho once in a while it will attract a teacher who tells me "What you're doing is harder than kicking up to the wall."
        • Tiffany Cruikshank     Aug 17th, 2012
          Hum, hard to tell without seeing but two things are key to kicking up at the wall. 1- make sure you lead with your pelvis, if you're just kicking with your legs your pelvis will never get up enough to position it over your shoulders. For this you can practice hopping with both knees bent, at the wall, like you're in cannonball and when you hop try to bump the wall with your sacrum (keeping your knees into your chest). 2- don't forget your second leg. So many times we focus on the leg we lift up into the air first but we forget to lift the second leg up as well. So once you get the cannon ball jumps with the sacrum moving into position try the one legged hops again but remember to hop and lift the second p leg up right away as well. Maybe I'll get around to tape something on this next time I'm at YogaGlo, I'll try to remember. Hope that helps, let me know how it goes. ;)
  • Lisa Jones     Aug 16th, 2012
    AH!!! Exactly what I've been waiting for! Thank you Tiffany. :)
  • Katie Green     Aug 16th, 2012
    YES! Thank you x
  • Katie Green     Aug 16th, 2012
    YES! Thank you x
  • Raeanna McMannis     Aug 16th, 2012
    awesome...a good kick in the pants and a gentle reminder that I have a lot of work to do! thanks:)
  • Lisa Hagen     Aug 16th, 2012
    Good sequence. Love ur leggings...what brand?

  • Sarah Higgins     Aug 16th, 2012
    loved the supine eagle! I loved this whole practice. Thank you.
  • Jeanette Darbyshire     Aug 16th, 2012
    Very good! A few times a week it shall be!
  • Em Bettinger     Aug 15th, 2012
    Great ! Thank you. Also, where are those leggings from?
  • Leigh Ann Ablah     Aug 15th, 2012
    Wowza! Many thanks as always!