Riva G@riva_g_

Creative Director
Inspired by yoga, art, nature,
travel, style, the beauty in little things
mom. geek. free spirit. NYC
📧 rivag99@gmail.com


1,441 posts 443,363 followers 455 following

Riva G

How to Hollowback-Handstand...
as requested by so many of you!
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I just want to remind you that:
First, this pose is advanced, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away (it took me a long time to find even a little balance here).
Second, by no means do I consider myself a hollowback-handstand expert, I'm still working on it myself, but I’m happy to share some pointers that have helped me find some hang-time here. 💙
Now let's take a look at how to get more comfortable in this pose:
1. The first thing we want to do is activate those core muscles. 🔥 This helps with balance & alignment in our handstand. I probably spend a good 5-10 minutes just building up my core!
2. We also need to open the chest & shoulders for the backbend that happens in hollowback. Puppy pose, Cobra, and Gomukhasama are all great options. 🐍
3. The next thing I like to do is visit the same hollowback shape, but in a different inversion where the balance is more accessible (like forearm stand here). 👌🏼
4. Practicing the handstand variation against a wall is a great way to get more comfortable in this shape too.
5. Baby steps... this hollowback variation (on the toes) means less of my body is relying on the wall for balance. 🙌🏼
6. From here I can start playing with lifting one foot at a time off the wall. And when I‘m ready, I can try to find some balance with both feet off the wall (even a half-a-second counts! 😉)
Ps. swipe left for the video progression
Did you guys find this helpful? Tag a friend who is learning to Hollowback Handstand , & let me know if you want me to share more of these tutorials! ❤️
Happy practicing! 😍


Riva G

Moody skies and my favorite skyline ❤️
The calm before the storm... ☁️⚡️
Just moments later, those grey skies opened up & completely DRENCHED both @sfreneenyc & I ... ☔️😹
Apparently we’re really good at checking the weather report... but even better at ignoring it... 🤷🏻‍♀️ #foreveranoptimist
#noumbrella #wegotsoaked #totallyworthit
Ps. Let me know if you want me to put together a tutorial about hollowback-handstand. I get lots of questions anytime I post a pic of this pose! 😍
Have a wonderful Sunday, loves!


Riva G

Wiggles, wriggles, and wobbles... #thegoodstuff ❤️
It’s a funny thing, the way our minds work.
This morning I was feeling pretty tired & just blah, and not in the mood to do much of anything, including get on my yoga mat...
I already had all the excuses lined up... #tootired #toomuchtodo #needabreak
But deep down I knew how much better I’d feel if I just gave my body a few small stretches to wake up.
So I told myself “OK, just 15 minutes of gentle stretching, and that’s it!’ ⏱
Well those 15 minutes turned into 30. And the next thing I know, it’s an hour later, and I just want to keep bending & twisting, and going upside down. 🙃
I felt so much better in every way - my mind was relaxed & focused, my body was lighter & more open, and my mood was happier & calmer. #yogahigh
I guess my point is, if you’re ever having ‘one of those days’, you don’t have to force yourself to do anything, but try to squeeze in just a few gentle stretches. Even pausing for a few deep breaths or a long Child’s Pose will instantly make you feel better.
BUT, if you find yourself wanting more after that, don’t be too surprised... 😉❤️
🎵 dreams by n u a g e s
(video sped up x3)


Riva G

Back at the beach,
with my sister who’s in reach,
so happy I could screech,
& that’s not just a figure of speech
I’ve been loving all the quality family time over the last few days, & of course that also included some sister yoga with @tditty2 ... 💕
We had fun trying out a few new variations of a shape we originally came up with back in April... I’m posting all 3 of them, because as usual I can never pick a favorite (it’s not my fault, I’m a Libra 🙈)
Which one do you like, 1-3?
Also, I’m sharing a video we made of the pincha variation so you guys can see how we get into it! 😍
#sisteryoga #familybonding
Ps. it’s a good thing you guys aren’t here for my poetry skills... 🤣)


Riva G

Sky high in the Windy City ✈️☀️🌃
SO excited to spend the next few days here with my ENTIRE family (it’s been 2 years since we were all together!) and it always feels extra to be back in the place where I grew up... #hometown ❤️
Do you have a favorite thing about family get-togethers?
I love all the home cooked meals & late night talks that last long after dinner is over... especially the ones where we start remembering all the crazy stuff we used to do growing up... & there’s 6 of us, so can you imagine my poor parents?? 😂
Maybe it was some of those adventurous moments that prepared me for this particular one - handstanding 103 floors high above the city (🙈)... Trying to balance while watching all the cars zoom by right underneath me was definitely not easy!!
Either way, I loved experiencing this unforgettable view of my beautiful hometown... from my visit at the @skydeckchicago last year. 😍


Riva G

‘There will always be something else.
Another obstacle to overcome.
More danger on the horizon.
That‘s life. But there’s more to living
than conquering mountains and
coming out victorious in every fight.
Enjoy the view.
Relax once in awhile.
Your success is meaningless without joy.’
~ @beautaplin
Just a friendly reminder (to myself, most of all), to slow down - or maybe even to stop completely every so often - and to just take it all in, enjoy the moment. 🙏🏼
Is slowing down something you’re good about doing? Or is it the kind of thing you forget to do too?
Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all have the most wonderful weekend! 😘


Riva G

Happiest of birthdays to my beautiful sister, and amazing acro-partner, @tditty2 !!
I had so much fun going through some of the many shapes the two of us made together over the years... 💙
These are just a few... Which one is your favorite? (1 is top left, & 9 is bottom right).
ps to Tova: ok, I know technically your birthday is tomorrow, but I was too excited to wait one more day... 🙈 also, I’m counting down until we can celebrate together next week!
#loveyou❤️ #happybirthday🎂 #cantwaittoseeyou #sisters👭


Riva G

Always happiest by the water 💦
Friends, you already know so much about me, but I want to know more about you! 💙
Tell me!👇🏼 Where are you from, where are you now, and where would you go if you could be anywhere in the world? 🌎
Also, just a random thought... but, would any of you ever be interested in a meet-up? I’ve been thinking about how fun it could be to put one together.. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 😊
ps. Can’t believe this was taken just a week ago... already missing this beautiful place. 💙
pps. Happy Labor Day to all my fiends in the US 🙏🏼


Riva G

Shapes with friends on a quiet morning in the streets of Soho... ❤️
Couldn’t decide which of these pics I loved most, (indecisive Libra over here 🤷🏻‍♀️), so here’s all three... 🙈🙊🙉
Which one is your fave, 1, 2, or 3?
📷 @sfreneenyc
ps: there’s just so much to catch up on with good friends you don’t get to see as often as you’d like... the four of us could barely stop chatting the whole time, its a miracle we got even one photo together... #thereality 😂❤️❤️❤️❤️


Riva G

When you feel both wide awake and half asleep at the same time... 😜😴😂
#thejetlagisreal ✈️
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to practice all the calming postures or all the energizing ones, so I did what any confused yogi would do and flowed through both of them... 🤷🏻‍♀️
Not sure which ones helped out more, but I can say that I felt a lot better afterwards - more relaxed and less sleepy, and just altogether happy to have made it onto my mat. 💜
Which types of poses do you find yourself gravitating towards - calming or invigorating? Do you have any favorites? Tell me 👇🏼
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 😘
🎵 Two High by Moon Taxi


Riva G

Life has taught me a lot of things, but one lesson I keep coming back to is this:
If there’s something you just can’t get your mind off of - listen. And if your dreams are strongly pulling you in one direction - chase after them.
- BUT -
don’t get too caught up in how you think something is supposed to happen. And don’t try to control how everything plays out.
Because the beauty of each journey is how it UNEXPECTEDLY unfolds. No specific plan can EVER be as perfect as what the universe has in store for us. 🦋
FORCE almost always ends in disappointment.
BUT, learning to LET GO of our expectations allows us to become present. And being present is the only way we can actually SEE what‘s out there waiting for us.
And I’ve found that more often than not, what’s out there turns out to be even better than anything we were even expecting in the first place. 💙
Making shapes in one of the most magical places, the Dead Sea.. 🌎


Riva G

A yogi heart-to-heart may turn out to be a little more literal than what you’d normally think of, but it always ends up being way more fun than you expect... 💙
#amiright ??
Had the best time making shapes with one of my favorite humans, @talia_sutra and meeting the sweetest yogi & photographer, @shaniyoga.photography who snapped this pic 💙
We all met just after sunrise at the beautiful Jaffa port and walked around the marina chatting about how cool it was that we were there together at that moment, all because of this crazy little app... 🙌🏼
I know I’ve said it before, but I really am grateful for this platform, and how it’s connected so many of us to one another.
And I want you to know that I love each of you and this wonderful yoga community of ours! I really do hope I get the chance to meet every single one of you! 💙😘
#igyogafam #somuchlove