"I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it" - Mae West
The invert is often considered to be one of the first big milestones in your pole or lyra journey. For some people, it clicks almost instantly, but for others it can be like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time- almost impossible! It feels so frustrating when you are struggling to get upside down.
Personally, I had been struggling to get in to my invert for almost three months, and was feeling so disheartened about my lyra abilities. I just couldn't seem to reach that tipping point to get my bum in the air! I didn't believe my instructors' advice that with persistence and training, it would eventually just happen, until one day when doing conditioning in my Pearls lyra class, I suddenly found myself upside down. I was so shocked and surprised that I nearly let go of the hoop!
I wouldn't have been able to get it without the advice of our amazing instructors, so I've compiled some of their top tips for mastering your invert below!
Words by Eva Devore, Photography by The Black Light Sydney.
Miss Mighty Mouse
"Tuck your pelvis under, and for heaven's sake, look up at the roof and then back at the wall behind you. Your head and your butt are connected after all, so you can't get upside down if you're still looking at the floor or your toes!"
"Also, train your invert in the reverse. If your strength isn't there yet it's not an issue, just practice controlling your body down out of a straddle position for as long as you can. For a side straddle, start in a Delilah and re-grip with both hands, hug the lyra to you just a little to activate your arms, bring your free leg to your straddle position, and then try to do the same with your hooked leg. Then control it on the way down. You'll build strength in all the right places!"
Miss Lola Grace
"Tip # :1 For your hips to come up your head must go down. Think of your body like a seesaw that you want to flip. A lot of students make the mistake of looking at their hands too much and keep their chest too elevated when you really want to help elevate your hips by leaning back."
"Tip #2: Really tuck those hips. Think Elvis Presley. Thrust your pelvis towards the pole- and keep thrusting while in your V. This centralises and lightens your weight, helping to maintain your balance, and tucking your pelvis also helps you engage your abdominals."
"Tip #3: Try to be patient with your body. Everyone is built differently so everyone will progress at different rates. I took ages to get my invert... I can't remember exactly, but it felt like maybe 6 months? I repeated beginners and intermediate 1, and every level after that at least twice, sometimes more. It takes time for your muscles to respond to exercise, but one day it will just click."
Miss Sofia Rose
"You should always keep in mind that inverting is a difficult move, so don't be too hard on yourself if you are finding it challenging! The move is a combination of balance, strength and technique, and I personally find a single invert or straddle is more about your balance. In my classes, I always stress the importance of practicing the move in reverse; this will help you engage all the right muscles and get a sense of where your body should be.
In Lyra there are three lifts involved in the invert process; the first is bringing the knees to the chest, then tilting back to get the hips to the hoop, and finally pressing through the chest to allow balance and the ability to hold the move.
I also think it's really important to control your exit from the move as it works the muscles and builds good habits. I've seen too many of my pole students falling out or collapsing from their straddles, and to control it, you must bring your chest back up and re-engage those biceps!"