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Off the wall: the yoga class that will get your feet in the air


Many yoga practitioners find they hit a wall when it comes to inversions, literally and figuratively. Standing poses, arm balances, tricky transitions all seem to be coming along, but balancing inversions beyond a basic headstand in the center of the room seem next to impossible.

This leads us to one of the great yoga conundrums: Practicing handstand with a wall does very little to teach you how to practice handstand without one.

To learn how to take your handstand to the center of the room—and into the middle of your vinyasa—a Multi-Intenso class with David Regelin may be the answer.

“The first step is really deciding you want to do a handstand,” says Regelin, founder of Multi-Intenso, a vinyasa style that draws upon classical poses, his own creations, and a “serious emphasis on inversions.” Taught at Kula Yoga Project, The Shala, and Pure Yoga, Regelin’s class gets you past halfhearted hopping into handstand by introducing a choreographed sequence that combines integrated core work, conditioning, and openings (hamstrings, look out). Multi-Intenso creates the confidence as well as the balance, strength, and flexibility needed to get into, stay in, and get out of handstand gracefully. (Our own progress is proof.)

Cristina Tarantola has been taking David Regelin's classes for almost two years, 3 times a week

Still worried about collateral damage? Regelin recommends you have an exit plan—a way to get down safely that includes yourself and those around you, should you lose your balance. (The one-foot-down-at-a-time plan is a good option.) And give it some time: Even with Regelin’s classes, really nailing inversions might demand more patience from your practice than strategy.

Look for Multi-Intenso at Kula Yoga Project, 28 Warren St., nr. Church, City Hall, 212-945-4460, www.kulayoga.com, $17 single class; The Shala, 816 Broadway, at 12th St., Union Square, 212-979-9988, www.theshala.com, $18 single class; Pure Yoga, 203 East 86th St., at Third Ave., Upper East Side, 212-360-1888, www.pureyoga.com, $30 day pass


How long have you been working on your free-standing inversions? Got any tips? Tell us, here!