Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Lara Heimann when working on this in her Breath and Bandhas 500hr module:
“Do not think about getting up into vertical - think about what is happening in the body. Think about the process, not the end goal. The end goal is a great thing to visualize but if you are consumed with that and not the process you will not get to the end goal very well.”
Good advice for inversions, good advice for life.
I haven’t worked on forearm balance away from the wall very much - I think because I feel less confident in my fall-out plan with this posture and so have more fear of falling. But working with the seal of the bandhas to find lightness and lift is much more stable (and so it’s also less scary), and will also be more satisfying because you are truly building the strength needed to lift with lightness and hold it.
Try starting in quadruped with forearms down. Inhale, and then exhale fully, expanding your breath into your upper back, chin in. Really lift the front body to get your upper back lifted between the shoulder blades. Getting your breath all the way into the upper back, your accessing deeper muscles of the core. With that feeling, lift up into dolphin. Bring one leg in, getting the thigh and belly together (it’s ok to bend that knee if the hamstring is tight). Get the upper lift between the shoulder blades, seal of the belly in toward the back, get the thigh in close to the ribs, a little bend of the knees, inhale, and a little push from the toe as you exhale and seal it. The pull of the belly is what brings the pelvis up, not a huge push from the power of the legs.
From the evolution of cat —> dolphin —> peacock feather (forearm balance) feel the lightness and lift, and enjoy studying the process.
I’ll keep working on it :)