Stand on your head, yo.

Hey guys!  Hows your Sunday been?

Ours was full of walking and shopping.  To Future Shop, the market, downtown and Choices we went today.  But enough about my boring life!  Lets talk about yoga!!

Today I want to talk about the King of asanas,  Sirsasana or head stand to the non-sanskrit speakers.

Ok, so first friends, if you do not have a Sirsasana (head stand) practice already, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not use this post as an instructional guide!  I outline the basics here, but it is MUCH safer for you to learn this posture under the guidance of a qualified teacher.  We may feel like out alignment is right, and that we are using the right muscles, but we cannot see ourselves.  And a teacher can see you!  And help you get to where you need to be.  Please learn this posture with a teacher, and then you can use this post as a guide.  ALSO!  If you have eye problems, super low or high blood pressure, are suffering from a headache, pregnant or on your moon cycle, head stand is most likely not for you!  OK, here endith my sermon.

Head stand is one of my very favorite postures EVER!  It was the first inversion I ever learned, and I requested it be taught in almost every yoga class I attended after that for about a year.  I am sure my teachers grew tired of me.  But alas, I just wanted to stand on my head!

To begin, kneel on your mat, and place your forearms on the mat, shoulder distance.

smiling is always a good choice

Next, keep your elbows where they are, and just bring your hands together to claps.  Like you are praying not to fall over.  Just kidding…

Please don't let me fall, please don't let me fall...

Then bring the back of your head into your hands.  You should be resting on the very top of your head, and the part of your head where you would have a bald spot if you were a baby (or a man, sorry guys) should be pressing into your hands.

There should be a slight tucking of your chin here.

Press firmly into your forearms, so as not to put much pressure on your head, and spread your collarbone, as you press your shoulder blades in, and your shoulders strongly away from your ears.  Lift your sit bones so that you have Downward Dog legs.  This is basically Dolphin posture.  You can stay here and gain comfort and strength for as long as you like!

You've seen lots of dolphins doing this, right?

When you have had enough of that and want to come up, press really strongly into your forearms, lift your shoulders up and away from your ears, and walk your feet into your body, as close you can.  Then, using the strength in your abdominals, start to lift your legs,

Oooooohhhhhhhh...

Up and away,

Mmmmmmaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.......

From the floor!

Gggggaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwddddd!!!!

Make sure that you are really pressing the shoulders up and away from your ears, and you shoulder blades strongly into your back.  Your thoracic spine should be flat.

Press like you mean it!

From here, you can do some cool and fun things.  You can take your legs to 90 degrees from the floor and hold (awesome for the abs, if you care about that sorta thing..) or you can lift and lower them from vertical to 90 a couple of times.

Kinda like and L!

You can twist your lower body, so you are in an inverted twist!  Awesome for digestion and… elimination.  You know.

Imma do tha twist

You can open your legs front to back too!

like the splits, but less.

Thread the needle on yo head!  Take your right foot and place it on your left thigh;

Like the number 4. I almost put the letter 4.

Then bend your left knee, drawing your leg into your chest.  Feel the hip stretch!

Keep both feet flexed. Not sicled like me. Bad dancer.

You can bring the soles of your feet together;

Padmasana feeties!

Or bring them really far apart!

Like the splits but... no actually just the splits.

To come down, you can lower through pike, just like you came in.  Or you can bend your knees, pointing your toes to the floor;

Circus Circus!and lower yourself into a cool back bend!

Turn those toes in! Bad bad dancer

When you come down, give yourself 10-15 breaths, or longer, depending on how long you were up, in balasana-child’s posture.  This helps the bring the blood pressure back to normal, and release any pressure from your little spine.  Balasana is what we call a “counter pose” in yoga speak.  You can just call it nice.

So why bother?

There are a million and a half reasons that head stand (or inverting in general) is good for you.

-Reverses the effect of gravity on the internal organs, helpful for digestion and elimination.

-Can relieve edema in the lower extremities, especially if you stand for long periods of time.

-It is a tonic for the nervous system, fighting fatigue, and is also calming.

-Increases circulation.

-Helps to prevent tension headaches.

So go stand on yo head dawgs!

<3

Ps, special thanks to this stud for taking the pics

He's hawt.

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2 thoughts on “Stand on your head, yo.

  1. I love this pose. My yoga teacher used to say “it’s just nice sometimes to see things from another angle”. I turn to this pose when I am struggling with something I can’t find the answer to.

    • Exactly! I learned in yoga teacher training that inversions can help you to “see things in a different way” or to get a new perspective. I totally agree with this sentiment. Inversions always turn my thoughts around. I am glad that they are so helpful for you too! What other inversions do you like to practice?

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