Tuck Up Tips

Tuck Up Tips

The tuck up is a great way to begin the process of “floating forward” as you come to the top of your mat in Vinyasa class. It’s a bit disconcerting because you need to bring your hips a bit beyond your fingertips. Most students get the feeling that it’s too far–that they’re going to fall over, but that “OH S***!” moment is exactly where the balance point is at.

When practicing, start in a Downward Dog. You’ll use your calf muscles A LOT as you bend your knees and spring off of the floor. Think “knees to chest, heels to buttocks.”  Try a few hops, going a bit higher and higher. When you get really high, arch your back like cow pose. Lead with your glutes, and allow your hips to go an inch beyond your fingertips. You can claw the mat as you get a bit of hang time.

tuck up image *kino

You’ll need an exit strategy too. It’s really hard to over-rotate, but if you do, step one of your hands forward to stop yourself. It’s good to practice at the beach on the soft sand in case you fall. Practice over rotating, then the single hand walk over and over until it becomes automatic. Then, if you’re in the middle of a packed yoga class and you over-rotate, you’ve already trained your body what to do and it’ll go there instantly.

handwalk image

Sometimes you think you’re getting high enough, but you keep falling right back down – no hover time. Take a video of yourself from the side, so that you can check your height, then try again. No matter what you do, have fun trying! Once you get this down, it unlocks a whole new group of postures that are available to you such as Floating Frog, piking up, or taking handstand as you come to the top of the mat.


Kelli Russell
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