Thursday, 16 March 2017

Handstand Walking Research Study

Nicole is looking for as many participants as possible.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Teaching 1:1 Availability Jan 2017

January - February 2017

Teaching Availability:
1:1 and 2:1 slots:
My classes are for those who wish to learn how to improve their own handstands and/or flexibility and learn from an experienced and knowledgable worldwide performer and teacher.

Wednesdays: 10-11am / 11-12am
Thursdays: 6-7pm / 7-8pm
Saturdays: 11-12am / 12-1pm / 1-2pm / 2-3pm

Other times/days may be available so please do ask if none of the above times suit you.

Book early to avoid disappointment as the spaces I use to teach get booked up fairly quickly so the above times are subject to space availability.

Lesson prices:
£60 per hour
These are the prices for tuition at my location, if you wish me to travel then please contact me for my rates.

dancingupsidedown@gmail.com

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Leicester 2016

I have just finished a fabulous month performing with Incandescence Circus Theatre in their Vintage Circus Show at the Athena in Leicester.

Out of personal choice I have not done a Christmas contract like this since the one I did for a very different company back in 2009, I finished it wishing to change careers and quit performing due to the way i was treated.  And so this year it was a fairly significant contract for me.

With Incandescence I couldn't have been working for a better more fantastic company, and I loved every minute of this contract.  I had a fabulous month in Leicester and I am very grateful for it.

Here are a few screenshots of my handstand act, official pictures coming soon.




Saturday, 27 August 2016

Acrobatic Gymnastics at NELGC - TRIALS

Trials for the Acrobatic Squad and the Acrobatic Development Squad at NELGC

(Me handstanding outside the gym)

We are looking to expand our Acrobatic Gymnastics Squads at NELGC, and we have a trial this week if you are interested in coming to try out for it.

When: 31st August 2016
Time: 5:45pm-7:15pm
Where: NELGC, The Cube, 46 Milton Grove, Stoke Newington, London, N16 8QY
It is a small permanent gymnastics facility with sprung floor area, many mats and equipment, a mini gym and dance studio.

Who:
The trial is open to existing gymnasts from the club or gymnasts wishing to join our club. We are looking for both bases and tops, 7-14 years, though if you are outside of this age range get in touch just incase (eg. if you are an experienced base and older than 14).

Booking: 
Booking online is essential, strictly no admittance to anyone that just shows up on the day without booking online. Book via www.nelgc.org . Please note that the website may say the trial is full but there are still spaces, any problems please email squads@nelgc.org

What we are looking for: 
For the acro development squad we are looking for gymnasts that show potential and that we can work on developing the necessary skills and abilities to eventually progress to our acro squad.
For the acro squad we are ideally looking for gymnasts that we can partner with some of our existing squad members into pairs and trios for future competitions.

At the trial We will assess participants on their strength, flexibility, gymnastics skills such as handstands, levers, basic tumbling skills.

When we train:
Monday: 5:30-8:30pm (development squad till 7:30pm)
Wednesday: 5:45-8.45pm (development squad till 7:45pm)
Saturdays: 10:30-1pm (development squad till 12:30)
If accepted into the squad it is essential that participants can attend all of these sessions and have good attendance and commitment.

All gymnasts will be working towards participating in specific competitions that happen throughout the year, representing NELGC.  We are a club registered to London Gymnastics and British Gymnastics. We work to and compete in the British Gymnastics Acrobatic NDP grades.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch, squads@nelgc.org



Monday, 1 August 2016

2016 World Championships of Yoga Sport, Pordenone, Italy

An inspiring and amazing weekend with so many wonderful inspiring people.  I am thankful everyday for this beautiful addition to my yoga journey, it develops me in so many ways.

I completed two solid routines and after each one had a smile from ear to ear.  As a bonus I received the silver medal in the adult women's category.

Here are a few pictures from the event:

My qualifying routine and my day two routine.  When I look at the pictures it looks easy, in training then yes i find these six postures fairly easy, on that stage though, and holding in absolute stillness for the required time then a few of them feel rather different than they look!




Tuesday, 29 March 2016

2016 Yoga Asana Championships

16th April 2016
London
Enter online at www.ukyogasportsfederation.com
Categories for male and female:
Youth U11
Youth 11-17
Adult 18+
Senior 50+
It will be a fun evening of yoga

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Yoga Championships and Me

I began yoga in 2009 it was for a few reasons, mainly my knees, none of my reasons involved entering an asana championships.
I lost my practice in 2010/11 when I moved cities. In January 2013 I had bilateral knee surgery as my knees were severely hurting and dislocating (lateral meniscus) worse than they had before (they've done it since my early teens I'm now 33). Surgery didn't do very much and in 2013 I turned back to yoga.
A few months in, after being made to move from behind my comfortable 'hiding place' pillar at the back of the room then I was invited to an advanced asana class.  Two classes in I was asked what postures I was going to do for championships. My answer was none, my brain thinking what a ludicrous idea it would be for me to enter a yoga championships, even more so since I was still only about 3-4 months post surgery. Next class was the same question. My answer still being none.
5 weeks later I found myself standing on a stage my legs absolutely shaking like a leaf in a gale trying to put my head on my knee in standing head to knee pose. Absolute craziness, great awesome craziness. My routine was a bit of a car crash as I fell out of my last asana, then timed out on the second attempt (I'm a very nervous person when I'm being officially judged...).  It was the beginning of a journey that would develop me greatly.
I have since participated in three UK championships, one European Cup, one International Championships.  Sometimes I've said I'll never do it again but I always end up back on that stage, it's difficult to leave something that develops you inside so much.
When people think of the word competition they think of people comparing and trying to be better than the next person.  This for me is a really inaccurate incorrect description of a yoga championships.  Sure there are medals at a yoga asana championships, but it's not the main goal.  The main goal is about you, it's about your development, your body, your mind, your breath, your routine, and honouring everyone else's routines too.  It's about celebrating our yoga, working towards personal goals whether they be mind body spirit, whatever you wish those goals to be. Our journeys are our own.  Those three minutes only show a very small glimpse into our yoga practice, they are not our yoga practice, I like to think of them as a nice additional thing.
On top of everything then I have met some of the kindest most awesome people and friends from all around the world by participating in these events. I have been able to take part in some really awesome yoga workshops, and I have been to some really awesome places on my travels to events.  Basically my experience is that they have allowed me to have really fun awesome times and experiences :)
In the UK then yoga championships are often thought of as a westernised thing and people don't always grasp the concept of it. Trying to explain it to people i have always found difficult.  Yet if you Google then you see that yoga championships originated in and take place very regularly in India, hundreds of people take part in the events.  
I appreciate and respect championship events are not for everybody and that is perfectly fine.  There is never any requirement to compete. Different journeys have different routes. 
I've won national titles but i hate people defining me by that. Medals are nice but medals or not then I'm just me, Sally.  We are all champions of our own universes.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

1:1 and Group Classes 2016

2016 Classes and Lessons Availability

Expert tuition in London from one of Londons flexibility experts, qualified and experienced gymnastics coach, and established professional contortionist and handbalancer Sally Miller.

1:1 Slots Availability: (updated 09/02/16)

Mondays:
10am - 1pm

Tuesdays:
2 - 6pm
7 - 8pm

Wednesdays:
-

Thursdays:
10am-4pm

Fridays:
10am - 1pm

Saturdays:
On Request between 2.45-5.45pm

Sundays:
10:30am - 1pm - new group classes will be announced very soon!
1-2pm: 1:1 slot in N16 Newington Green

Costs for 1:1 lessons from my facility in N15/N16:
10am - 5pm : £60 per hour
5pm-8pm + weekends: £65 per hour

I am also able to travel to your facility, costs for this are dependant on location where I am travelling to.

Please email dancingupsidedown@gmail.com for bookings and more information.

Nick Delaney Photoshoot

Last month I collaborated with the very talented photographer and artist Nick Delaney.  Every time we shoot I say this but I think this time we shot our best set of images yet!  I love these images :)

Please check out Nick's website at www.nickdelaney.com  He has some beautiful work on there, and is one of the best photographers i have been fortunate enough to work with over the past years.  In particular check out the section called Flexile Geometry which is a set of geometric images Nick has composed using purely yoga/circus/flexible people that he has worked with.  Blown up big sized these images look more than amazing!

These images are copyrighted, please do not steal or post these images anywhere without permission.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Ice Queen Handbalance

Check out these beautiful pictures of me by Nick Delaney (www.nickdelaney.com).
My Ice Queen performances are available as either Handbalance with Canes and/or Contortion. 
For booking enquiries please email bookings@sallymiller.uk
Sally Xx

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Ambient Walkabout Contortion at the Corinthia Hotel

Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to have the amazingly talented photographer Nick Delaney (www.nickdelaney.com) come and take pictures of me as I performed at an event at the Corinthia Hotel with the lovely Sternberg Clarke (www.sternbergclarke.com).

Walkabout Sets are where I wander about the guests finding a suitable space where i then contort my body into crazy shapes, and balance on my hands.

I was recently asked if I prefer performing ambient/walkabout sets or a choreographed to music stage show.  I like both for their different reasons.  I love in a choreographed stage show being the centre of attention on the stage, and being able to combine my technical skills with artistry and emotion to the music.  Ambient/Walkabout sets then I love the freedom and randomness of it all, that i can show all of my technical skills that might not be included in my choreographed acts, and i like that the guests can also get to speak to me and ask me questions about my flexibility :)

Anyway, here are the lovely pictures that Nick took of me :)   Please do not use these pictures without permission.








Wednesday, 18 November 2015

BIMM & SOMM Winter Symposium 2015 Hypermobility

This weekend was the 2015 Winter Symposium by the British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine (BIMM) and the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine (SOMM).  This year the topic was Challenging Joints - Management of Laxity, Instability, and Hypermobility.

I was honoured to appear on the front and back cover of the programme with a photo by the wonderful Simon Richardson.  I was also honoured to be able to attend the symposium and listen to the excellent and informative presentations given by some of the leading experts in the field of hypermobility.

Although I am now a full time performer, I graduated from university with a degree in physiotherapy, and my interest in physiotherapy still strongly exists. One of the topics that absolutely fascinates me is hypermobility symptomatic and asymptomatic. 

Although in my current working life I see, work with, and teach many people who could be classed as hypermobile as they are crazy flexible and score great on the Beighton scale then they are not symptomatic. There is a management side of when I'm teaching them, but they are the lucky ones as generally they do not have one of the symptomatic hypermobility syndromes that can affect others so severely.  (On the subject of the beighton scale then interesting fact is that I only score 3. Yet my knees are officially hypermobile, hurt each day, and from puberty to about until 3yrs ago subluxed/dislocated regularly, I also have a few of the systemic symptoms).

This symposium looked at those who have symptomatic joint hypermobility syndromes. It also looked beyond the joint at the systemic problems that can occur.

For me I listened and absorbed information on each and every talk.  Usually if I'm up at 6am after not very much sleep then I am flagging by midday and sitting through lectures would send me to sleep.  I was so interested in this subject that I never once flagged or felt tired till I got home!

As well as learning a tremendous amount then the day did a few things to me. It taught me to be aware of the extra symptoms of joint hypermobility disorders, as someone who deals with flexible people on a daily basis I think it's good to have an awareness of these. Secondly it encouraged me to read further about certain aspects that were highlighted on the day that I found interesting. And thirdly it made me want to be back into the physio world treating and helping people. That route would be long and tremendously hard as I haven't practiced since I graduated, but maybe one day... if performing taught me anything it's that not many things are impossible if you are willing to work hard and believe.

A big thankyou to BIMM and SOMM for organising such an amazing day and allowing me to attend :)

Www.bimm.org.uk

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Handstand Workshop Feedback and Pictures

Last sunday I led my second very successful workshop at Bikram Highbury and Islington to learn how to handstand.

My workshops cover the building blocks for successful handstanding and inversions, I use progressive steps to show how to build up the strength required, and develop the correct technique to ensure success.

If you would like me to run a workshop in your venue, or if you are interested in private handbalance classes then do get in touch with me on sallyacrocoach@yahoo.com.

"I cannot speak highly enough for Sally's teaching! Her structured approach, deep understanding of the human body & passion for handstands makes her teaching inspiring! I highly recommend anyone who is interested in improving their handstand to attend one of her workshops."

"Love it. Learnt some good techniques to help my handstands. Very clear and helpful teaching. Thanks Sally."

"Sally makes everything possible. Really good to build strength for your yoga practice."

"Really great workshop. Sally took us throughall the progression steps and broke it down so that we could all build on our skills regardless of our level."

"Very Good. Great content about technique but also fun to do."

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Halloween Handstand Workshop NOV 1st 2015 !!!!

Join me for a handstand workshop SUNDAY NOVEMBER 1st  1-2:30pm at Bikram Highbury and Islington Studios.

The last handstand workshop was a big success and the feedback was incredible, so here is another one!

The workshop is geared to beginners and intermediate handbalancers, although handstanders of all levels are welcome and i will give different exercises to more advanced students.
The workshop will draw on my 15 years of teaching expertise and in the workshop which will begin with handstand preparation stretches, you will learn how to create the right body shape, tension, positioning, and strength to balance on your hands, learn the techniques to safely get into the handstand through a variety of progressive exercises, and once you are there then how to stay up there!

It should be a fun, informative, and progressive workshop and I can not wait to teach at Bikram Highbury again :)

To guarantee your spot please book in advance directly through Bikram Highbury, spaces are limited and reception will be told to let no more people in once the workshop is full.
www.bikramhighburyandislington.com

Sally Xx

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Lessons/Workshops/1:1s - Availability September

I am in the process of setting up a website with my available times and dates for teaching.  In the meantime i will be updating this blog with my availability.

What I put on here is also subject to availability with the space that i use which changes constantly, and with other bookings as they come in, so to be in with the best shot of getting your preferred time then please do book in as soon as is possible.

I offer 1:1 private lessons in handbalance and also in flexibility/contortion to all levels from beginner to expert.  My cost is £55 per hour for tuition from my facility in Seven Sisters.  If you wish me to travel to your location that is most of the time do-able within London's tube network but the cost is higher depending on where you are and travel time and cost.

September
Thurs 3rd:  10am - 4pm
Mon 7th:  11am - 4pm
Weds 9th: 11am - 8pm
Mon 21st: 1pm - 4pm
Tues 22nd:  3pm - 6pm
Weds 23rd: 11am - 8pm
Thurs 24th: 10am - 4pm

Sun 27th: 11am - 1.45pm  SPLITS AND BACKBEND FLEXIBILITY/CONTORTION WORKSHOP nr Newington Green - details and booking info coming this week!

Mon 28th: 1pm - 4pm
Tues 29th: 3pm - 6pm
Weds 30th: 11am - 8pm

Weekends available on request, although i tend to be on courses or working away a lot during September.

My email for tuition bookings is:  sallyacrocoach@yahoo.com


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Unique You

This week I was sent the most fabulous set of images from award winning photographer Ben Marden (www.benmarden.com.au).  Me yoga asana'ing around Prague city centre after the European Yoga Cup.

It was an impromptu shoot after 3 very intense yoga asana days.  My body felt exhausted, but i love a photoshoot so i kept pulling out the poses!  Looking through the images i was happily smiling at how awesome they all looked.  Ben had managed to capture some stunning photos :)



Then I came to an image of me stood upright doing no yoga asana.  I rarely shoot a 'normal' photo.  I overlooked the fact that this was infact a beautiful photo of me.  The first thing i saw was too big hips and legs, too big shoulders and muscles, my body was horrible compared to the image in my head of what i wish it looked like.  Then after picking apart my body bit by bit and hating it I thought how sad it was that these were the first things that I thought seeing a normal image of me.  And how it was weird how i thought none of this when i saw the other photos of me in weird bendy poses.

I looked at the image again.

I saw a fit healthy perfectly how i'm meant to be body.  I saw strength, I saw me, I saw a beautiful picture of me.  A strong women whose outside strength matches her inside strength.  Without my physical strength I wouldn't be doing handstands like i do, those shoulders give me much joy.  Without my inner strength I wouldn't have made it to today, I fiercely fought my own battles and alone kept strong for many years through some nasty nasty events.

The more i look at the image the more i lose the negativity, my mind thinking instead of the positives.

I am incredibly lucky to have the body that I do have.  It is not perfect, nobodies perfect, what is perfect anyway.  I have a few non-aesthetic faults.  But other than a few small things my body is this wonderful vessel journeying me through life happily and healthily.  From today I am going to appreciate this body even more, it's the only one I get and life is precious and short, why waste time hating the bits I can not change.

If you look at a photo and just start reeling off your perceived imperfections look at the photo again, look differently, look with an eye that looks deeper than the surface, look and see how you are so much more than a few of your perceived imperfections.  You were designed beautifully to be you, and we are all perfect and beautiful just the way we are.

Here are a few of the other stunning images from this wonderful photoshoot.





Sunday, 24 May 2015

2015 European Yoga Asana Cup - Prague

When I started yoga it was because of my knees (I had just had bilateral knee surgery).  Then my practice gave me more and more health benefits physical/mentally etc.  I continue to practice because of those benefits.  Then comes the asana championships that I was encouraged to first enter back in 2013, for me they developed into this little gem I do in addition to my practice.

I am a natural performer, put me on a stage with a massive audience and i thrive.  However I am less of  a natural competitor, put me on a stage with judges and i tremble!

However, I am improving and this year after winning the UK championships again then I was fortunate enough to be able to qualify and participate in the 1st European Cup in Prague.

My training for it was interrupted quite severely by illness and injury.  When I flew out to Prague the day before the competition then I felt a lot better but i had been sofa-bound and had not been able to make a yoga class or run a routine for the entire week, I felt a little unprepared...  On the thursday night orientation meeting lots of people told me they were excited to see my routine, to be honest so was i as i had no idea if i could even do half the moves in it!

The championships were in a shopping mall, i liked this, not only was it not totally silent, but people who would not likely have otherwise been to seen the championships got a glimpse of it.

Anyway, I did my routine, and i got through it, and i did everything i was supposed to do.  I still have a lot of work to do to control my nerves on stage.  When i did my standing head to knee, a posture i am usually really good at, then all my alignment went out the window and i just thought whatever to alignment because my leg is feeling like jelly and i am just going to stay here.  I finished my routine and i was very happy, i didn't even think i could do a routine earlier in the week and so to do it and do it really rather well felt amazingly good.  Regardless of any placing i was very happy with my self accomplishment of getting through that routine.

I finished in 3rd place (out of 24) in the official standings.  I was very smiley and happy :)   Almania who finished first, and Veronika who finished second were both amazing, and it was an honour to stand up there on the podium with them.

The weekend does not finish with the medal ceremony, or the afterparty!  Bright and early on the Saturday and Sunday mornings we woke up ready for more big days of yoga'ing.  When Dev Kapil is in town and running a workshop it is one not to be missed.  I learn so much each time i have the privilege of learning from him.   It was 5hrs each day of bendy bendy yoga'ing fun!

And then after 3 nonstop days of bending then i went and did a bendy photoshoot in Prague with the fabulous Ben Marden Photography.

Last year i questioned why i do the championships, last year i worked my little butt off for the international competition and then i got quad cramp on stage and fell from my last posture scoring a big fat zero, on a personal level it did hurt deep inside and i started to really question why i compete.  I can't eat that day, I need the toilet multiple times before going on stage because of nerves, i have so many butterflies in my belly i feel i am about to take off/fly, when i go on stage i don't even recall what i am doing and just zoom through it all, and when i muck up i tend to beat myself up inside.  After a week of saying i would never compete again i realised the positives, it is like a catalyst to my practice, it makes me work on my weaknesses more than i otherwise would and on my strengths to make them stronger.  It works on me learning to believe in myself, that i am capable and am worthy of being able to complete something without falling, but if i do fall then it is ok, it does not matter, i am still enough.  It works on me being calm in a stressful situation, all of those reasons i was using to say it wasn't maybe for me were reasons why i needed to do it.  This year i was still nervous but i felt really good progress in controlling my nerves and keeping calm.  Also and the main reason is that i love working towards it all, it is FUN.  It also brings together so many awesome awesome people from so many countries.  It is so inspiring to meet so many other dedicated amazing yogis and lovely to make some new awesome friends.

Sally Xx 
Womens Division 1st/2nd/3rd - Photo by Jan Polacek

Me and the Inspirational Cintra Brown who finished 2nd in the senior division.  When i am older i want to be as awesome as Cintra Brown is!

Lotus Locust'ing at Dev Kapil's workshop.  What fun!

And a fabulous photoshoot with Ben Marden Photography to round off a fabulous amazing weekend.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Handstand Workshop 31st May !!!!!

I am super excited to announce that I shall be leading a super fun awesome handstand workshop happening on the 31st May at Bikram Highbury and Islington!!!!

The workshop shall be beginner/intermediate level with no prior experience needed.

In the workshop I shall lead you through a series of exercises that I use to prepare people to handstand, lots of lovely exercises to either begin to get you upsidedown and/or refine your handstand alignment and hold, exercises with the wall and without the wall, look at different ways into the handstand and safe exits, explore a few other fun armbalances, and give you lots of my standing on your hands top tips.

I am one of Londons top professional female handbalancers, I have been standing on my hands since I can remember and teaching for over 13 years.  I am honoured to have been able to perform my art at big events all over the world.  I am also the current UK UKYSF Yoga Asana champion.

VENUE: Bikram Highbury and Islington
TIME: 1-3pm
COST: £30

Places are limited and so sign up now so that you do not miss out!



Saturday, 4 April 2015

100 Years of Fitness

Check out this super wonderful video of 100 Years of Fitness in 90 seconds.  It went viral and at the time of writing this then it currently has about 2 million views.  My wonderful sister Karyn Fleeting was the talented person behind creating this video for Benenden Health :)


Saturday, 21 March 2015

2015 UK Yoga Asana Championships

Last week was the 2015 UK Yoga Asana Championships.  It was a smaller event this year than previous years, but a beautiful display of asana from all competitors, and like all years i have participated in the UK one then it was much fun.  The format of the competition was different this year as the IYSF brought some new rules into effect for 2015.  There were 4 compulsory postures from categories of Forward Compression, Backward Bend, Stretching, Spine Twist, and then 2 optional postures which have to cover Strength, Flexibility, and Balance over the 2 postures.  I chose one optional posture i am already very secure with, and another that required me to work hard on my backbend to improve it.  This is important to me as the championships is about many things, one of which being about having personal asana aims and goals and catalysing my asana practice.
On the day I did a routine that i was extremely proud of.  It was not perfect, i watch it back and see it's deductions.  But it was as good as i could do it under nerves, and other than one slight wobble out of standing head to knee it was a solid routine with the required stillness for each posture.  I finished the routine and inside me it didn't matter where i came because it was enough for me to be happy with my own personal performance.  But i was thrilled and honoured to for as a bonus then for the second year in a row to be awarded with 1st place and the gold medal.  I now go to Prague to represent the UK at the European Yoga Asana Cup.