Pole Dance Teacher Training at Funky Monkey Studio – Bath

Today I began taking pole teacher training at Funky Monkey Studio in Bath.

The teaching certificate is in affiliation with the Pole Dance Community. 
We started off with theory about the many elements of teaching, the role of the teacher, the relationship with students, adaptability, different styles of pole dance.

We then went to the studio and drilling the Level 1 moves which included a variety of spins and many moves which were more expressive and dancy in nature. We also practised variations of each move, in both directions, with different hand positions, different leg positions and different entries, exits and embellishments. 

We then practised AcroYoga which is strongly reliant on communication skills including non verbal communication which can be incorporated into pole instructing.

I teach handstand classes at Funky Mobkey Studio so I’m now taking a test ready for my class at 6pm!

Ben Lowrey


Bristol Handstand Classes – MoveGB or Drop-in

The 5 new weekly handstand classes in Bristol are going great at Tobacco Factory in Southville, Bubalu on Gloucester rd. and Matter Wholefoods in Easton!

I’ve had almost 100 beginners attend the classes since I began in 2015.

Check out this video of some of the latest handstand moves I’ve been working on!

People attend the class for different reasons, some wish to incorporate handbalancing into their yoga, some to aid with their circus acrobatics, some for strength & fitness, some for their breakdancing or capoeira, and many just for fun and personal challenge!

If you can hold a plank for 30 seconds and hold downward dog for 30 seconds you have enough strength for a handstand. 

If you are curious about attend the class, feel welcome to drop in, or MoveGB members can attend as part of their membership plan at no extra cost.

Here is the information page. tiny.cc/cia 

Ben Lowrey

Ben Lowrey interviewed by BeardedTravel.com

Today Blue o’Connor from BeardedTravel.com interviewed me on how to eat and exercise to stay in shape whilst travelling.
The title of the blog article is 10 TIPS TO STAY TRAVEL FIT

We touched on many topics including diet, beliefs, mindset, exercise equipment, and exercise style that are best for staying in shape.

Here is a short segment from the interview, you can find the full 20 minute interview on his website.

New MoveGB handstand classes planned for new locations in Bristol. 

The popularity of handstand classes in Bristol & Bath has been growing steadily through 2015 and I intend to begin teaching 2 new weekly locations in January 2016.

I’ve been in talks with The Tobacco Factory in Southville and Matter Whoefoods in Easton and will announce a schedule soon.

Here is a recent video from the Sunday 2pm class on Gloucester rd.

MoveGB members can attend my classes as part of their membership, or anybody can drop-in for £5.

The atmosphere has been great with everybody interacting and taking it in turns to spot each other.

13-12-2015 - Bubalu 9 (1)


My main information page is tiny.cc/cia

I would highly recommend joining the newsletter to receive updates about class times in your City.

13-12-2015 - Bubalu 8 (1)


If you can recommend other good studios please get in touch.

If you are already a MoveGB member, come along and try out the current showstopper handstand class which is 2pm every Sunday at Bubalu on Gloucester rd.

Once you’re logged in to MoveGB the booking page is here.

Ben Lowrey


13-12-2015 - Bubalu 2 (1)


Showstopping Progress at Funky Monkey Studio Handstand Class!


This week we concluded the 2015 handstand classes at Funky Monkey Studio in Bath. Renata made massive progress in her balance and was performing amazing unassisted handstands by the end of the course! Look at the great form, pointed toes, high body tension and straight arms she was exhibiting.

You can find class times for Bristol and Bath handstand classes here > tiny.cc/cia

MoveGB members can attend the Bristol class or anybody can drop in for £5.

Funky Monkey members in Bath can attend the next block of lessons which begin in January 2016.
Use discount code BL15BJKW







Our only opponent is frustration! 55 second handstand just short of 1 minute goal

I made 24 attempts at a 1 minute handstand today. It can be frustrating because each attempt is fatiguing and requires at least as long again to recover. On attempt 5 I hit a personal best at 55 seconds, then the next 19 attempts failed to exceed that. I really had draw upon a lot of mental strength to keep persisting. Frustration is the primary enemy, limits is physical capacity are not an important factor in my opinion. I was imagining what Scott Alexander, Conor McGregor, Trump would do. They would of course not leave the until they had got what they wanted. I trained the same task yesterday and also trained back and shoulders yesturday so it will be interesting to see if my stability is better after several days of rest.


How to manage frustration when learning handstands

Well, it was a great session at the MoveGB showstopper handstand class in Bristol today, attendance is growing every week. We spent some time holding handstands against the wall for endurance conditioning. We then practised kicking up and taking it in turns to spot each other with several different exercises. The class is quite fast paced and the hour flys by! 

There is no easy way around it, handstands are difficult. It takes hundreds of hours of practise to get a solid handstand, but the journey is fun and should be enjoyed.

The fact is you will fall over thounsands of times, you will need the help of a spotter or a wall for years. If you don’t find a way to be patient and enjoy the journey then frustration will creep in.

Some people have plenty of strength but limited flexibility, some people have plenty of flexibility but limited strength, and both must be worked on.

It may surprise you that just because somebody does yoga does not necessarily mean they have all the flexibility that is required for handstands. They often have good forward bend but limited shoulder opening (falling short of the straight line which is needed along spine and arms). Or they might have tightness around the front hips and lower back which causes the pelvis to tilt resulting in a curve in the lower back which they struggle to flatten for a straight spine… and all that’s before we even begin worry about balance!

We do conditioning and stretching exerxises in the class but there is no shortcut, it just takes lots of practise.

It is vital to approach your handstand practise with a playful attitude. Anybody who expects to walk in and master it on day one is going to be diapointed. The body will not build control that quickly.

Attending a handstand class makes the process fun because there is a lot of interaction. It’s possible to attend yoga or fitness classes for months without really getting to know anybody because talking isn’t part of the class format, but in handstand or acro classes where people are put into pairs there is a lot of communication and team work.

I keep rotating the partners to ensure everybody gets a chance to work with each other. Not only does this give people a cance to meet each other but they also get a chance to see different people’s handstand abilities and observe the different limitations and abilities that everybody posses. The challenges that one person faces will be different to the next.

Also people get to experience difference spotters and can communicate differently with each person about what kind of phisical support they need. 

Like anything in life, it’s helpful to have some detachment from the goal, enjoying the processes ensures you will progress towards the goal without the urgency of needing it to happen today.

Choose manageble tasks for each traing session. Aim to increase your endurance agains the wall by an extra 10 seconds. Or aim to hold a freestanding handstand for an extra few seconds. Or aim to do 10 extra reps or an extra set on a conditioning exercise. 

I like to post progress videos on facebook and youtube becuase the knowledge that friends will be seeing it motivates me to give it my best shot. 

Find what works for you, above all else, be patient, be consistent, and enjoy the journey.

Ben Lowrey


Class times > tiny.cc/cia

Bristol & Bath, United Kingdom

Ambitious Handstands at Funky Monkey Studio – Bath.

Today we tackled some more difficult handstand shapes in the handstand class at Funky Monkey Studio. We worked on closing one leg at a time in straddle, we also worked on the diamond shape, and we worked on an elegant transition which goes through tuck then diamond before splitting into straddle. 


My handstands were inconsistent today because I had been bodybuilding in the 2 days prior which causes noticeable muscle fatigue & impaired control. It is an interesting point that our energy levels, mood and mental focus greatly effect our handstands because balance is such delicate thing. 
There were several instances of showstopping where people were balancing for a few seconds on their own unsupported by their spotter. We can be positive and pretend it’s easy but the truth is it takes most people years of practise to get a solid handstand. After learning for 2.5 years and only just developing a solid handstand (still inconsistently!) I would agree that it does takes year.

I am keen to keep introducing new moves into my own practise which I can then pass on to people in class.

– pressing up from crow or headstand into handstand.

– straight arm crow up and back down

– walking on hands

– walkover into bridge and kicking back from bridge into handstands 

– handstand into forward roll on hard floor

– one-arm handstand

… are all things I intend to be able to do in the coming months. I do intend to be a performing hand balancer one day and so it’s important to me that I keep progressing. 

 If you would like to attend future classes check out my page tiny.cc/cia
or funkymonkeystudio.com

Ben Lowrey