I've been checking into some acrobatics lessons, because having now figured out how to spin the hoop around me in a variety of different ways, I think learning to spin me around the hoop would provide a pleasing symmetry. I took gymnastics briefly when I was younger, but after a certain point they wouldn't let me progress unless I caved and did things on the balance beam and uneven bars. I hated both of those things with the passion of a thousand burning suns, so I quit.
I'm a grown-up now, and if I say I'm not doing anything that involves being more than a foot off the ground, I can make it stick.
It's probably a bad idea for me to start out doing random saltos unsupervised on a Marley floor, and I've got it in my head that I'd be all right if I had a professional spotter standing by to make sure I don't break my neck. I've also got the sneaking suspicion that if I don't figure out exactly why I think I need a spot, I'm going to thoroughly embarrass myself by not being able to get through anything with an instructor, either.
I spent a bit of time hanging from the barres in the studio on my last trip in. I'm probably not supposed to do that, but at least I was smart enough to use the cast iron one that was fastened to the wall with masonry bolts, and not one of the freestanding ones made of aluminum or PVC. I seem to have a problem with inversion. It's not even that I mind being upside-down. I'm just uneasy with the process of becoming upside-down. The transitional state of instability makes me want to freak out and flail. On the one hand, this is rather interesting, as I hadn't previously been aware that this precise thing was the issue; on the other hand, this is really annoying, and I'm going to have to fix it if I want to re-learn to tumble.
I'm less bothered by having to place my hands blind than by not being able to see where my feet are going, so I'm probably going to be bizarre again and think back walkovers are easier than front ones. Doing these involves dropping backwards into a bridge, and then kicking your feet around over your head. I'm fine with pushing myself up into a back bridge from the floor, so the first step is figuring out how to make myself fine with tipping myself over backwards instead.
Problem: I don't trust my ability to hold this position for any length of time.
All right. One step at a time. Figure out how to hold yourself up later; for now, find a chair.
Problem: I don't trust the chair to stay put.
Fine. Find a heavy chair.
Problem: I don't trust me to stay on the chair.
Hook your ankles around the chair legs. On second thought, kick your feet back as far as they can go and wedge them against the floor. If you're pushing your toes toward your head, that'll throw your weight onto the back of the seat, where it's supposed to go if you're using the chair properly anyway.
Problem: I can't complete the backbend while hanging onto the back of the chair.
Then swing your arms around and brace yourself on the front legs instead.
Problem: I run out of shoulder rotation before I run out of backbend
Oh, for God's sake. The chair isn't magic. Let go of the fucking chair.
Problem: I have no idea what this looks like. I can't see myself in the mirror anymore.It's not an unpleasant stretch, bar the fact that my face ends up on the floor. I may be getting almost 360° out of it; I have no idea, because I can't see a damn thing. I could see having difficulty holding myself in position were I not on the chair, but as it was, it was entirely a matter of muscular effort, not of straining against the limits of any joints. Once I figure out the balance, I should be able to set my hands down anywhere I want them, up to and including right against the backs of my own feet. Whether my arms can hold me up is another matter. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it -- no pun intended.
You have now bent so far backwards that the bridge of your nose is pressed flat against the linoleum. This is a feature, not a bug.
After three or four tries at it, the chair did slip out from under me as I was sitting up, and I landed flat on my ass. Nobody died. Huh.