Moving Backwards To Go Forwards

A three-day course with Alex Hammer + Rebecca Hannah

1 – 3 November, 2024
FRIDAY – Introduction & Handstand Fundamentals
17:00 – 20:00
SATURDAY – Folds, Splits, Leg Behinds & Handstands
9:15 – 17:00
SUNDAY – Backbends & Splitty Bends, Shoulders, Twists & Contortion Handstands
9:15 – 15:00

Price
CHF 450.00
Early Bird: CHF 400.00 (until July 10)

Cancellation policy
Until Oct 11: full refund / between Oct 11 and Oct 25: 50% refund / after Oct 25: no refund.
* After paying the workshop, you will receive a confirmation email.

All about the Workshop

Moving Backwards To Go Forwards
Join us for a combination of dualities as we delve deeply into the mechanics of backbending and forward folding: The only requirement is coming with an open mind and a willingness to go outside your comfort zone!

Rebecca and Alex both practiced and taught yoga long before they discovered contortion. After plateauing in their yoga practice and struggling from injuries, contortion taught them the importance of working on strength and technique rather than flowing mindlessly through postures.

Their experience has given them a systematic approach to flexibility training which focuses on individual alignment/anatomy, drills, repetitions, the integration of props, the importance of transitions and intelligent sequencing.

Their unique approach has had a transformational impact on both their practice and teaching and is the perfect complement to anyone who wants to advance their yoga practice in a safe and intelligent way.
Detailed programme
FRIDAY – Introduction & Handstand Fundamentals
17:00 – 18:00: Get to know us | Introduction into our training | Introduce yourself (if you like)
18:00 – 20:00: Handstand: Working for Tomorrow | Fundamentals | Inversion Awareness

SATURDAY – Folds, Splits, Leg Behinds & Handstands
9:15 – 10:45: Let's Move Forwards
11:00 – 12:30: Adjusting | Assisting | Modifying | Deepening
13:30 – 15:00: Group Discussion: Movement as art and a means of self expression 15:30-17:00: Handstand: Inversion Awarenss | Basic Shapes | Press

SUNDAY – Backbends & Splitty Bends, Shoulders, Twists & Contortion Handstands 9:15-10:45: Let's Move Backwards
11:00 – 12:30: Adjusting | Assisting | Modifying | Deepening
The course will cover
Backbends
- Glute activation, hamstring engagement and hip extension in cobra (bhujangasana), bow (dhanurasana), camel (ustrasana) and wheel (urdhva dhanurasana).
- Middle/upper back activation, shoulder rotation for flipped grip poses including pigeon (kapotasana), lunge (anjanesyasana) and dancer (natarajasana)
- Upper body strength for hollowbacks, snakes & scorpios

Folds
- Spinal extension & anterior pelvic tilt in half pikes (ardha uttanasana), pikes (uttanasana) & turtles (kurmasana)
- Spinal flexion in compression poses like upside down turtle and firefly (titibhasana)
- External rotations in lotus (padmasana), pigeons, butterflies (baddha konasana), yogi dandasana, kandasana and leg behind head/back positions (eka pada sirsana, dwi pada sirsasana, buddhasana...)

Splits
- Internal and external hip rotations for front and middle splits
- Lengthening the hamstrings and the quads for beautifully aligned and balanced positions, but also for hooking
- Utilization of props for standing splits, laying splits, wall splits and oversplits

Shoulders & Twists
- Spinal twisting
- Shoulder protraction, retraction, flexion, extension, internal and external rotation
- Exploration how this can be applied to entries into wheel pose (urdhva dhanurasana), hollowback wheel (alien) and hollowback forearm stand
- Further, how this can be applied to various leg behinds and folds

Handbalancing
- Working for tomorrow: Handstand Strength and Flexibility
- Handstand fundamentals: Hand placement, finger activation, shoulder activation, how to safely fall out of position and safely entering the handstand
- Inversion awareness: Spending time being upside down in more accessible inversions like headstand, forearm stand and wall handstand
- Basic Shapes: Candle, Half Straddle, Straddle, Diamond, Tuck + Press (puppy, pike, press...)
Who is it for
Whilst this course isn’t recommended for complete beginners we aim to break down and explore how postures can be adapted for different body types. This will include how to assess and understand where your restrictions lie and how to build a practice that works for you and your body.
Rebecca Hannah
Rebecca was introduced to yoga through physical theatre and performance. As a performer she was initially attracted to the physical side of yoga and how it could be used as a tool for creative expression. After her 200hr YTT in hatha followed by an additional 200 hours in ashtanga, she discovered a passion for creativity in different styles of movement disciplines. This interest was channelled into further trainings, including 200 hours of Yogic Arts with Duncan Wong (a fusion of martial arts, Thai massage and yoga), 50 hours Tripsichore Yoga Choreography, calisthenics, and circus arts. She has taught workshops, retreats and teacher trainings in over 20 different countries across four continents. This includes her signature training ‘The Art of Flex-ability’ which combines drills, assists, and transitions inspired by yoga, contortion, dance and Thai massage.
Rebecca’s intention as a teacher is to help students discover presence through play, teaching sequences that are fun, innovative, creative and smart. She believes in a strong focus on developing the strength to safely support flexibility, while using movement as a tool for mindfulness, communication, creativity and self-expression.
Alex Hammer
Alex ́s movement journey started with bodyweight training and calisthenics. After several injuries due to inflexibility he was fortunate to discover Yoga through YouTube and started the exact same day. Two years later he did his 200hr Hatha YTT in Rishikesh India, but dedicated himself to Ashtanga for a couple of years afterwards. Always in the search for something new and by spending hours on the mat daily, he slowly started to experiment with an approach that combined bodyweight & flexibility training.
Alex regards movement as art and a means of self-expression. He knows firsthand that our feelings towards our practice can be ambivalent, so in his workshops and retreats he focuses on connecting practitioners with their bodies and finding joy within the practice, i.e. while practicing. This is achieved by the development of a skill that could be called ‹ intensity management ›, the joyful experience of going beyond our perceived limitations and by finding access to our practice as a means of self-expression.
* After paying the workshop, you will receive a confirmation email.

The location

Laboratorium is an urban gym in the city of Zurich with a focus on calisthenics, handstand, functional training, mobility training and movement in general.