As you might have guessed from my photos and posts, I am totally obsessed with everything there is to learn and know about handstands. During my quest of gathering as many repetitions, information and hours spent on my hands I have come across many wonderful practitioners and incredibly talented performers and teachers. This is the 8th issue of my new ALL ABOUT HANDSTANDS Interview series, which I have started to share the many beautiful souls out there who dedicate their time on one or two hands instead of their feet.
Virgile Peyramaure has traveled the world, from France, where he grew up in show business since his father ran a small circus company, to New York where he is currently living and coaching ie Circus acts. In France he studied under the legendary Claude Victoria where he developed a hand to hand balancing act. Let's find out more about Virgile:
1. Tell me something about yourself: Who are you now, what did you do in the past and what are you passionate about?
I’m a full time handstand and hand to hand teacher in NYC. Teaching privately, group classes at the Alo Store and Google. I coach acrobatic acts for shows such as Cirque Du Soleil’s “Crystal”. I also work on and off with Tony Horton (creator of the legendary training program P90X).
I grew up in my family circus show. At the age of sixteen I was accepted to the National French Circus school. There I met my coach and mentor Claude Victoria. I trained with him intensively for four years and signed my first contract as a professional acrobat right after finishing school. I toured around the world until 2017. I performed in many venues such as The Lido in Paris, Cirque du Soleil, Big Apple Circus and many more. I won awards in Circus competitions in Paris, Monte Carlo and even China.
I’ve always been passionate about performing to the best of my ability... I’ve strived to be the best I could be as an artist, testing my body’s limits and thriving for creativity. Today, I’m passionate about making my students better at handstand than me.
2. Your IG name is @handstand_with_virgile How much time do you spend upside down per day? Is there one thing you ALWAYS do when warming up?
I try to train at least two hours per day, six days a week. I always use my stretch bands to warm up my shoulders now. I never start a practice without warming up my back, neck, wrists and all my splits.
3. What is your favorite Handstand variation of all? Handstands by yourself or H2H?
I love the feeling of a one arm handstand with limbs closed in to the body. Carrying someone Head to head is an amazing sensation because it combines power and precise technique.
4. At what age did you start training? Tell me about your family and your father’s circus? As a child that must have been really exciting?
I started training in dance and circus with my family when I was 4 years old. In handstand and hand to hand with my mentor at sixteen. My circus family memories are very happy memories, but also hard work as we moved from town to town every day and performed twice a day. Life on tour makes you appreciate simple things in life like a hot shower and a great meal, but also and especially, amaze an audience with your performance.
5. Which teacher inspired you the most and why? Claude Victoria, why? because he made me who I was as a performer and today as a teacher, a perfectionist.
6. Which are the 3 most important exercises - in general - you think everyone should do?
A full body bridge, forward fold and straddle split if I get only 3.
7. Is the world prettier upside down? Why do you train Handstands? I get asked this and find the question very amusing. For people who don’t train handstands it seems to be a mystery.
No the world is not prettier upside down, unfortunately. But at least during your practice you are not thinking about it. In my opinion, it’s the only training where the body and mind have to be one hundred percent present.
I love this training so much, it takes strength, flexibility, coordination, obviously balance, but it also challenges your mind’s resilience, commitment and appreciation for hard work with little results at a time.
8. What are the most common mistakes in training handstands and how to solve them?
Finding your shoulders width. Look at yourself in the mirror (until you have the perfect visual) and your hands should be right under your shoulders in a straight line completely stacked.
9. Beginners always wonder on how to get started with training handstands when there is a lack of strength. How would a short training sequence for strength building (for absolute beginners) look like?
Lots of plank variations and push ups also some shoulder opener exercices.
10. How do you eat? Meaning, what style... vegan, veggie, paleo etc.. Do you use protein powder or other supplements?
I eat everything, but red meat only once a week. No supplements or protein powders at all. But I’m a chocolate-holic, so there’s that.
11. What was the last book you read?
The Stranger from Albert Camus
12. What was the last thing (tool, toy, food... anything!) you bought that made your life easier?
Stretch bands for training and blender for my mornings smoothies.
13. Where can I train with you? Any upcoming events?
You can train in a group Class at the Alo Store Soho every Friday at 5:30pm. I teach private classes Monday through Saturday, message me on instagram and we’ll make this happen.
I always have workshops events and retreats come up, so follow me on instagram to find out when.
Find out more about Virgile here:
Facebook: Handstand with Virgile