Ayesha, Ayesha, Ayesha. How I love you and hate you both at the same time.
You have been there on my happiest days and my most frustrating days, and sometimes all in the space of a 10-minute window.
Whether you can do it or not, it’s fair to say that the Ayesha is an important and awesome pole move. You can use it after your handspring and use it to help get your deadlifts. It helps you to get into a jackknife and pretty much makes all your moves stronger.
Oh, and it looks great too!
So here are my tips 🙂
Before you try your Ayesha, make sure that you are strong and confident in its regression moves. There’s no point trying your Ayesha if you can’t do a Butterfly.
As a chain of moves specifically for Ayesha, I would suggest:
- Basic Invert
- Extended Butterfly
- Inverted D
I think the Inverted D helps you to understand the balance required for the Ayesha but is not necessarily essential to master first. Perhaps work on both at the same time.
- Go into a Basic Invert on the pole – you can go into a V Invert first if you wish. Make sure you have your outside leg over the front of the pole and your inside leg behind.
- Keep your outside hand where it is on the pole. Take your inside hand off of the pole, placing it as low on the pole as you can, with your fingers pointing to the floor. Make sure your body is straight and in line with the pole. Pull with your top arm. Push in with your bottom arm (you may need to bend it slightly) to push your body away from the pole (as if you were going into a Butterfly.) Keep your bottom arm straight.
- Look up at the ceiling and keep looking up throughout the whole move.
- Move your body slowly through the next stages. Release the grip in your knees, keeping the grip by your feet. Slide your feet down the pole as you move your butt away from the pole.
- When your legs are as low as they can comfortably go without taking them off the pole, take your front (outside) leg off of the pole. Imagine you are trying to get your leg parallel to the floor and out in a V shape, so point it away from the pole.
- When you feel steady in this position, slowly take your back (inside) foot off of the pole and mirror your other leg. Both legs should now create a V shape, with your legs parallel to the floor. Hold this Ayesha position.
- To come out of this move, pull on the pole with your top hand to bring your legs back on the pole in a Basic Invert position and slide down.
Alternatives: When you feel confident with this version, you do not need to slide your legs down the pole first. When you have completed stage 3, take your outside leg off of the pole and into its Ayesha position, followed by the inside leg. When this version feels good, you can take both legs out at once. You will probably find that you can get your legs much lower in your Ayesha this way.
To kick down, pull on the pole as you point both legs up to the ceiling, keeping them straight. Look down. Bend your inside leg and take this slowly to the ground, followed by your outside leg. When this feels good, you can take your legs both down straight – make sure you bend your knees as you land to avoid injury.
- Keep looking up! This is essential.
- Make sure you can do the Butterfly and Extended Butterfly before trying the Ayesha.
- Practice your handstand kick down before trying this move as it is an easy exit to use when you are first learning.
- The balance is the hardest part of this trick. Do everything slowly at first. Keep your butt away from the pole, and take your legs out parallel to the floor as this will help you balance.
- Practice both sides.
- Always pull with the top hand and push with the bottom.
- Have a spotter guide your hips to help you figure out your balance point.
- This is a tricky one, so keep practising. Every time you do it, it will feel more natural and become easier.
I love the Ayesha. It certainly didn’t come in a day for me but it is now stronger than ever. Keep trying and you will get there 😀