Fear of going Upside down

 
Runemist34

Hey everyone!

So, I was just wondering if anyone, like me, has a fear of being upside down?

I ask, because I kind of figured out why it's so hard for me to do the Croass Knee Release, even after a while of doing it rather consistently.

I've always been terrified to be upside down. I hung my head off the couch to get myself somewhat over it...and even that freaked me out! I had my whole body supported, and I still felt it!

So, anyone else? Any reccommendations on how I can get over this one? Inversions are definitely something I want to get used to, get graceful with, and it seems that even if I know for sure that my hold is solid, I'm still reluctant to let my head down.
Oct 29, 2011 from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
chemgoddess1

I used to at first but not so much any more.  It was a real freak outfor me when I started going to a studio that had 12 foot poles.  The thought of having my head upside down higher than 4 feet in the air immobilized me.  For me it was learning a million ways to get out of things if something were to go wrong before I was totally comfortable.
Oct 29, 2011 from Raleigh-ish, NC, United States
nymphdancer

nope I was that weird kid on the playground that was always hanging upside down. I have less fear of heights upside down then righ tside up. But I'm weird and I know it lol.
Oct 29, 2011 from Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Runemist34

Chem- I kinda like that! If I might ask, what kinds of ways did you come up with? My pole is about 8 feet tall, so I don't need to worry about the height (yet!), but even if I'm, say, all the way up one climb, I still don't feel comfortable! I'm relatively good at sliding down (till I find the floor, and then my back gets stuck on the linoleum :P), and like I said, I'm usually quite solid when it comes to leg hold.

Nymph- Hehe, I wish! I'm not really that afraid of heights, though sometimes they do give me a little twinge, but the upside down thing...I dunno! Perhaps just the change in perspective, I don't know how things work anymore. I'm one of those people that can't figure out which way to turn my wheels on a bike or in a car if I'm backing up! lol
Oct 29, 2011 from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
polegypsy

i have a fear of being upside down, here is why....

[www.foxnews.com]

and my b/f being in a wheelchair (from a motorcycle) i know how hard it would be if anything this extreme was to happen.

but, i still pole and still ride a motorcycle, cause i believe, if its to happen it will happen because it was meant to happen.

and don't think about it, just think about how much you love what you are doing right in that moment! and thats what i do, with poling and riding!!!

good luck, i know you can over come this!! ♥
Oct 29, 2011 from HFX, Nova Scotia, Canada
AerialGypsy

Well, you should be starting low, and you should have a crash mat, so that should help. I always  looked up at my feet while I was releasing down (not at the floor.)
Oct 29, 2011 from Oregon, United States
FreeTheSun

Cross knee/ankle release still freak me out. I'm fine doing them but it's the going backwards upside-down that bothers me. Normal inverts no prob, but that backwards feels so much more vulnerable. And if things went wrong it near imposible to tuck and roll to safety. Honesty i think just more practice of going to, from and holding it.
Oct 30, 2011 from Virginia
opielee
Have the same prob,inverts ok,hand/headstands,ok too,but cross ankle/release scares me,I'm trying to figure out ways to get over it,I'm at a loss,besides crash mats,is there a psychological way of getting over that fear?
Oct 30, 2011 from jackson hts, new york, United States
PoleSkivvies

So far, Ive found my fears disappear when my strength builds up.  I've learned that, if I'm scared, it's because I'm not ready for that move.  Of course,  I'm doing simple inverts and not trying anything super crazy, so this might not hold true beyond my level, but so far it's been a good gauge.
Oct 30, 2011 from Burlington, Vermont, United States
Aly77

It's not so much a fear of being upside down for me.  It's the CAR that scares me.  There is something about only holding on to the pole with my legs straight out, letting go with my hands, and my head going backwards.  I just can't psych myself up to do it.  I've tried it low, with pillows underneath me, and with a spotter and I freaked out.  I can do a CKR just fine, and also a gemini, scorpio, brass monkey, etc.  I will also do just about anything upside down involving holding on with my arms or hands, such as an EG Aysha, TG Aysha, etc.  I know it's all in my head, but I guess it's landing on my head that scares me!!!!
Oct 31, 2011 from Chipley, Florida, United States
AerialGypsy

I find the CKR to be far harder than the CAR, but maybe that's just me.
Oct 31, 2011 from Oregon, United States
Sam I am

MATTSSSS and a SPOTER helped me get over the fears :)

 
Oct 31, 2011 from Summerville, South Carolina, United States
FreeTheSun

@sensualscimitar: It's not just you. I've always prefered the CAR over the CKR. CKR doesn't feel as secure. Granted I'm nervous about both, but significantly less so with the CAR.
Oct 31, 2011 from Virginia
nymphdancer

I feel much more secure in CKR  then the CAR I can do them both, but 9 times out of 10 will do a CKR.
Oct 31, 2011 from Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Reyn

Well if it makes a difference I find myself much more comfortable walking my hands down into the CAR than just dropping (that way I can make sure my legs are in the proper hold while my hands are still in reach of safety). 

 

I have a similar problem actually... I'm trying to choreograph a routine for a competition, but now the pole is 14' high and I feel like I need to use that space... but the HEIGHT really scares me in a lot of moves, like the Knee Hold or the Jade or any weird leg switches while I'm inverted. Any tips for that as well?
Oct 31, 2011 from North Carolina, United States
Aly77

@Runemist....." I'm one of those people that can't figure out which way to turn my wheels on a bike or in a car if I'm backing up! lol  """

Haha....This is totally me too.  I'm left handed so that doesn't help.  We have a riding lawn mower with a small dump trailer, and I can't figure out which way to turn when backing up.  Our insurance company for our 36 foot fifth wheel trailer made us list me on there as a driver because I'm licensed.  I told them if it ever had to be moved and it was left up to me, I would have to call a towing company.

I feel more secure in the CKR because I have my leg crossed and braced against the pole.  I used to get real dizzy when I would go upside down, but with time that has gone away.  When I first tried the CAR, before I let go with my hands, I slid down a little.  That is what freaked me out and left me with that "I'm going to slide straight down on my head" feeling. 
Nov 3, 2011 from Chipley, Florida, United States
pegasusaerialfitness

Do it backwards. I think Veena has a good lesson. Put some cushion down on the florr and do the coming up part. Once you are secure in the coming up...you will know that you can do it on the pole. Have someone spot you the first few times to help build your confidence...Remember to tell your spotter heads and hips... When you come up, grab the pole underneath you to help give you a little more push up. I think most people are scared of that because they stop comeing up for a second and that hesitation is what scares them.. The fall back and the coming up at the bottom. Put a little dry hands on the pole to help you stick if you sweat a little at first.
Nov 4, 2011 from Solana Beach, California, United States
AerialGypsy

I don't know much about spotting, so what do you mean by "heads and hips."
Nov 4, 2011 from Oregon, United States
pegasusaerialfitness

protect the head. and give yourself a good anchor to keep their hips from sliding down. Example. If you are inverted and someone starts to slid...they are landing on their head. keep them from sliding and keep their head off of the floor, So spot the exercise by figuring out how to make sure if they slide how to get them into a safe position. It's harder to type and easier to show.

cliff notes...if they are going down,,,make sure their head is the last thing to land..push them back on the pole or peel them off to the side..

 
Nov 4, 2011 from Solana Beach, California, United States
pegasusaerialfitness

PS..relative to this blog.

go into a standing Lunge with your thigh under where their hips are.

Place one hand in postion of back of head, other hand on upper back.

Then you can stop the hips from sliding any farther than your thigh and you can push them back upto the pole. Make sure your support the head and upper back in a way that they dont get whip lash.
Nov 4, 2011 from Solana Beach, California, United States
AerialGypsy
Any videos of this? It would be great if I could show my fiancee what he could do to spot me.
Nov 4, 2011 from Oregon, United States
pegasusaerialfitness

I will send you one...but give me a few days
Nov 5, 2011 from Solana Beach, California, United States
Miraine

Regarding the original post: I personally have no fear of going upside down when I feel in control, but utterly freak out when I don't.  I mean like, serious panic attack screaming digging my nails into anything nearby type stuff...   Drew blood on my bf once when he randomly decided to pick me up high and let my head go slightly below my hips.  Silly boy.

I feel pressure in my head very strongly when I'm upside down, and it's not to do with holding breath, though it is worse if I'm having to tense to hold the position (mild pressure if I'm lying relaxed, head-going-to-explode pressure if I'm trying to elbowstand).  Perhaps this feeling is part of what triggers the panic.

And there's the disorientation of having the world the wrong way up [www.studioveena.com]  It doesn't look pretty, but you can always practice the CKR (and eventually gemini/scorpio) keeping your head tilted up a tiny bit, just to get to the point where you're more confident that you're secure.  Lean back in CKR but keep your abs tense to curl your spine and keep your head just above horizontal.  Nice workout for the stomach too, hehe.

Maybe you could try relaxing a bit in an inverted position by lying on your back close to the pole, then propping your legs and hips up against it (shoulder stand kind of thing).  You'll get the head lower than body pressure, but without the disorientation of head tipped back.

...And I should practice what I preach!  I also need to get my body used to this. 
Nov 5, 2011 from Manchester, England, United Kingdom
AerialGypsy

pegasus - that would be totally rad! Thanks!
Nov 5, 2011 from Oregon, United States
Laura KittyCat
Try doing the car backwards from a handstand against the pole ( i find this is actually much harder) and if u canget that solid you should be able to do it the other way. Also, with inverts and the car, keep your eyes looking at your legs or the pole. That may help you feel more comfortable. Also, work on the pencil/ iguana mount position. That way if you feel uncomfortable in the car u can exit usin a pencil grip to get your feet under you. As far as spotting, i find that the hip and shoulders area of the back are great places to help control the body. Remember that in a fall, the worst thing to do is reach out for the ground. U can easily break a wrist doing that. Maybe try to practice some 'falls' (not off the pole jiust from the floor) and teach your body how to tuck and roll. Looking at your stomach is the best way to get the curvature of your back into a roll position. If you practice propper falling technique, i it does happen while youre in the air your muscle memory will know how to react without thinking. Hope this helps! Good luck!
Nov 5, 2011 from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Runemist34

Hey guys! Wow, lots of replies!

I figure I should mention- I pole in my home, only. I pretty much never have anyone else around (I don't really like poling around the husband for some reason >_> ), so that makes spotting kind of...difficult!

I have slipped once- my only time feeling brave enough to investigate the CAR. I say "investigate" because I hadn't really looked into the move enough, and didn't know what I was trying to get from the hold, so I just...tried it. Ended up landing on the ground but I was okay! I don't know why, but somehow, falling has been ingrained pretty well. The many, many times I'm sure I've fallen as a kid, plus some karate classes, all works in my favour.

I'll note, though, that, I am always sure to put down some fluffy pillows now!

I would love to learn how to do a handstand or an elbow stand, but I'm not really there yet...I suppose I've never really tried!

I was thinking I'd like to get into the pencil/iguana mount...is that possible for someone of my...er, strength, or lack thereof? I don't really know how much strength it takes!
Nov 5, 2011 from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
pegasusaerialfitness

If you try it from the floor you can have your back to the pole and scooch your bum up the pole as high as you can. Make sure you are on a mat so that you dont bruise your upper back. Wrap your legs around the pole and turn your knees medially or inward and squeeze the pole as you lift your body off the floor. Veena has a great lesson on this that I would recomment that you watch so that you can do this safely. If you can't do it from the floor, don't do it up on the pole.
Nov 5, 2011 from Solana Beach, California, United States
Runemist34

I have actually done that for the CKR!

I dunno, maybe my fear is mainly around the idea of leaning back, rather than just the upside-down-ness. I can scootch up to the pole so I'm right up on my shoulders, and that's totally fine! My floor is even grippy enough I don't have to worry about slipping (this also makes things difficult when I want to get off! lol).

I suppose it's just something I have to get used to, this being upside down. I think if I had more things to do when up there (I never know what I can get into from a CKR!), it might get easier. But, I'm working on it!
Nov 5, 2011 from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Laura KittyCat
How comfy are you in the plank? Try moving the bottom had a kittle lower each time and arching your back. This will give you the feeling of leaning back similar to the ckr/car but you still have both hands on the pole.
Nov 5, 2011 from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Runemist34

I've got the basic plank down, and I was experimenting with it and put one hand underneath, and one hand on top...worked really well! I'm working toward taking the bottom hand off.

I'd not thought of trying to turn that into a CAR...aren't you supposed to have more of your leg touching the pole when you go back? 'Cause at that point, it's just the same amount as if I'm doing a pole sit with my legs out...if that makes sense. Or am I just overthinking it? lol
Nov 5, 2011 from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Laura KittyCat
I didnt mean to do that into the car. I meant that as you lower the bottom hand more you can lean back farther in the plank and it will feel a bit like when u lean back into the car. To help you get more comfortable with the leaning back feeling. (:

You are correct in that you need to change leg position so more of your thighs contact the pole in the car.
Nov 5, 2011 from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
RoseMay

If you do the plank with both legs straight and crossed you can turn that into a CAR by tilting the hips back and leaning back :-) So being comfortable with straight leg planks will help with feeling more secure in the CAR.

Oh and if you can't do an elbowstand or handstand I wouldn't try the iguana mount.

Maybe learning elbowstands will help a bit with the fear of going upside down? Because you can get used to it in a different and more secure position, especially if you start against a wall.
Nov 5, 2011
RoseMay

Oh sorry KittyCat, I didn't see your answer when I typed my reply 
Nov 5, 2011
Laura KittyCat
Its cool! I love how veeners always have nice things to add! Us polers are sooo awesome!!!!!
Nov 5, 2011 from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
yogabeachbabe

For me, drop-backs (CAR & CKR), inversions and even aerial inversions are all good, but I'm terrified to go into cartwheel/handspring! I can do it no problem with a spotter, and I know that I have the strength to do it, but it's a total mental block. Does anyone else have this issue?
Nov 6, 2011 from Lafayette, Colorado, United States
 
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