Learning to stand on my head

Then

I was always amazed when I see yogis standing on their head (sirsasana). I continued being amazed well into the six years I started yoga. Somehow I started believing headstands were beyond me. It did not help that a fair number of yoga teachers do not teach Headstand as it is considered a fairly risky  pose. Therefore, I never really done a headstand despite of practicing yoga for six years.

Did it bother me? Yes it did. Somehow I wanted to be able to do it, a sense of accomplishment perhaps. All this while, it was relegated to the back of my mind. Until by chance, I enrolled for a yoga class and it happened that the yoga teacher did encourage students to try headstands. I was excited.

The teacher instructed us to find a panel of wall for to practice the Headstand. When preparing myself for the pose in front of the wall, I could feel my heart beat increasing rapidly. I was fearful before I got into the pose. This is possibly due to my frivolous thinking etched in my mind.

However, when I was on my head, the fear dispersed.

Nevertheless, every time, before I get into the pose, there was still fear – perhaps the psychologist can shed some light to this.

I guess many successful repetitions mattered. The fear and anxiety dissipated. It became second nature.

Now there was a new problem – without the wall, I cannot get into the pose. The wall has become my confidence platform to get into the Headstand.

I also realized Headstand is not my most comfortable pose. I sometimes experience a dull neck ache after the pose.

All in all, there has always been apprehension and adverse feeling towards this pose. There were some sweet successes yet many yet-to-be-conquered challenges lay ahead.

Today

After stopping yoga for three years, I am back on the mat. I am re-learning to do Headstand. First of all, I learned to walk my legs close to my body and till my legs feel weightless. Then, I raised my legs up. In order to maintain balance, I have to lengthen my torso with my toes pointing upwards to the ceiling. At the same time, the tailbone has to be tucked in, pulling abdominals in towards the spine. Yes, that was the Headstand.

With regular practice, one day, I will be able to do Headstand in the middle of the room, effortless. I just need to draw upon the lessons learned throughout my experience with this pose.

 

Hong

200hrs YTTC Nov/Dec 2014