Arm Balance Workshop with Co-Owner Jim Simonik

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The arm balance workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at the Lake Zurich studio. Pulsation Yoga co-owner Jim Simonik guides students step-by-step into poses most people incorrectly assume are too difficult to do. The workshop is open to students of all levels, and costs $33 per person. Please call (847) 989-7792 or register in person at the studio prior to the workshop. Check out all the details here and join us for a great afternoon! 

Why are you offering this workshop?

Jim Simonik: [Co-owner and wife] Kathy and I grew our practice so quickly by going to every workshop possible. At times, we even traveled out of state to learn as much as we could. As a studio, we are big advocates on continuing education for the student and for our teachers. This separates us as truly being unique and as experts in our field. When I teach any of these workshops at Pulsation Yoga and any other studio, I teach from a beginner’s point of view. And while some students might feel they are not ready, participating in a workshop is a good way to boost one’s practice, and may be what one needs to take it to the next level.

We are offering this workshop to students who have a regular practice, preferably two times per week—although we do not discourage any student if they do not have this type of regularity. They may be in good physical health from running, working out at the gym, Pilates, etc… If this is the case, the student’s core and motivation is where it should be and they should be able to do some—if not all—of the poses.

How can arm balances benefit people?

JS: It builds confidence, it feels good trying to do it, and most of all, the more you do it, the fear starts to go away. I can remember trying to come into handstand in the middle of the room the first time. It was very scary, but I knew if I was going to fall out of it, I had an exit plan. Know in advance where you’re going to fall and learn to fall softly—sort of like doing a cartwheel.

What can people expect at the workshop?

JS: The main focus at the workshop will be arm balancing poses. I will do one inversion—and one only—and that will be handstand. I will spend about 30-45 minutes breaking handstand down, and teaching all types of modifications so everyone will feel comfortable getting into one—whether it is their first or 100th time doing handstand. We’ll have a 15-20 minute warm-up with a short talk at the beginning. The total length of this workshop is 2 hours.

The overall atmosphere will be structured, open-minded, fun, and enthusiastic. Too often, I see students over-effort in a pose. If you relax a little bit rather than muscling into the pose, and try and find the sweet spot or the balance, you will probably come into the pose.

Can people with injuries still benefit from the workshop?

JS: Of course! Many students, like my wife Kathy, have limitations. Kathy has two rods in her back. In handstand, I help her by guiding her up and holding her one ankle with my two hands. This is a very safe way for bringing someone up into handstand. As a teacher, I regularly help students get into the pose. Students do have to understand that I am not doing the work for them, but merely helping. It has to be an equal partnership, and there has to be trust with both parties to successfully get into the pose.


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