Saturday, July 17, 2010

Head Standing - Ashtanga Yoga

•Step 1

Kneel on a mat, lacing your fingers together to create a semicircle with your palms, set your forearms on the floor, shoulder width apart

•Step 2

Draw your shoulders back to open your chest and feel strong through the arms. Exhaling, lengthen through the back of your neck and extend the back of your head into your palms, cupping your head. Lightly pressing your head on the mat, lift your shoulders up and away from your ears. Using your toes to raise your hips, begin to shift your weight evenly onto your forearms and clasped hands to form a base for your headstand.

•Step 3

Walk your feet in towards your face, lifting your hips, draw them directly over your shoulders. Next, press down through your arms and slide your shoulder blades up to release any tension in your neck, simultaneously aligning your pelvis with your shoulders.

•Step 4

Keeping your toes on the floor, sway your hips back. Inhaling, draw your kneecaps and thigh muscles up, floating your feet up off the floor. Transferring most of your weight to your arms and a little to your head, lift your legs to form a right angle.

•Step 5

Continuing to inhale, raise your legs together, stretching them upwards into a full headstand. While in the full headstand, look at your nose while focusing on the even support of the forearms. Beginners can opt to ease into the pose by bringing your feet up one at a time, gradually working towards bringing them up together.

•Step 6

Come down from the headstand. Lift your pelvis and lower your feet to the floor. Next, bend your knees and sit on your heels, rest your head on the floor and bring your arms back. Drop your elbows and rest in this position for at least two minutes. Inhaling, place your hands underneath your shoulder and lift your head and chest, slowly roll up into a standing position.

Benefits Of Head Stand (Salamba Sirshasana)

  • The Head Stand helps relieve stress and mild depression by calming the brain
  • It stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands\
  • The head stand also strengthens the arms, legs, chest, abdomen and spine
  • It helps to tone up the abdominal organs and improve digestion
  • The Head Stand helps alleviate symptoms of menopause
  • It is also very beneficial for asthmatics, insomniacs, and those suffering from sinusitis
  • Moreover, you relax all your muscles and build up power, structure, strength, and stability in your neck, upper back and arms.

  • The Head Stand should be avoided by people suffering from headaches, heart condition, low and high blood pressure, neck and back injury and during menstruation
  • Pregnant women can continue to practice it late into pregnancy only if they are experienced and comfortable with pose. Never, ever start practicing Sirshasana after getting pregnant.

  • Sirshasana is an advanced pose that should never be done without adequate prior experience or without the guidance of a trained and experienced tutor.

1 comment:

  1. This is cool. I want to try it :)

    I have some sublexations in my vertebrae and a slightly unnatural curve in my spine. Would this be a problem?