The chin stand (Ganda Bherundasana)

Disclaimer: Please attempt this pose only when your body is warmed up and when you are already confident with your sirsasana (headstand). In my opinion, I see the chin stand pose as a combination of chaturanga + upward facing dog. It is a very deep back bend pose that requires requires an open back, hips and shoulders and obviously confidence in one’s upper body strength as the chin actually bears very minimal weight in the pose. Two important factors in achieving the chin stand pose are your 1) Elbows and 2) Back Elbows: Elbows have to be chaturanga elbows throughout the pose. Elbows are flexed and squeezed to be as close to the side of the body as much as possible and shoulder blades drawn towards each other. If elbows are pointed out, you will not be able to hold the pose long as you will only be depending on your arm and shoulder strength. Moreover, it is also a wrong engagement of muscle areas as you should be engaging your upper back muscles instead. Back: When going up the pose, you are not going in with a straight spine but a backbend in the upperback. The backbend in the upperback will help to bring the hips forward to shift weight into the arms and chin to keep the balance in the pose. Elbows that are squeezed together comes hand in hand with the backbending of the back. As it was only my first attempt at the chin stand pose last week, I opted rely on blocks to achieve the pose as well as having a supervision around. IMG_6168These are the following steps when approaching the chin stand pose with the assistance of blocks: block 1) Visualize the pose and the imaginery triangle on the mat. Your chin should be resting on the tip of the imaginery triangle and the blocks are placed at the base of the triangle at shoulder width apart. 2) Place your palms firmly behind the two blocks and go into downward dog. 3) From downward dog move into chaturanga. As the blocks are in place, you will  place the front of the shoulders onto the shoulders and your head will naturally move  forward to have chin rested on mat. 4) Once shoulders are on the block and chin at the tip of the imaginery triangle, use  your core and back body strength to lift up one leg at a time. Viola, the chin stand pose with blocks assistance! Left: My attempt with blocks assistance. Right: Melissa's attempt without the blocks, which I am still  working on. IMG_6169                 IMG_6175