Sirsasana (nemesis or joy?)

Imagine my fright when I discovered that the ability to perform a headstand was something of a necessity on the 200-hour course! Having experienced whiplash in the past (resulting from a couple of car accidents that were not my fault, I hasten to add!) I always avoided activities that involved anything to do with my neck. In past Bikram yoga classes this proved to be a source of much attention when the teachers frequently used signal me out and bark at me “go back, go right back, blah, blah, blah…”
The first part of my headstand journey began when it was explained that it was possible to do the headstand without applying any pressure to my neck. I learnt that the pressure was all in the shoulders and arms. The second hurdle to overcome was then the issue of confidence. The fear associated with injury and hurting oneself appears to increase with age.
So I listened and watched the instructors and tried, but all in vain. I didn’t have the core strength to raise my legs. The third day of the course was a particularly low point and feeling totally disheartened a tear escaped from the corner of my eye during Savasana.
Determined to try again I even resorted to watching video clips about headstands on YouTube. What is so special about this pose often referred to as the “King of Asanas”, I found myself asking? More googling on the Internet followed and I discovered that it improves blood circulation, stimulates the lymphatic system to remove toxins, strengthens and tones the body and is good for the mind. It is also attributed with increasing the vitality of the body… sounds good to me! (
So The following day I decided to give it another go, with the wall behind me, and using one leg to give me momentum I suddenly found my self in position. The incredible thing was, as I watched my fellow students struggle to maintain the pose, I realised that thanks to muscle memory from nearly forty years ago that had kicked in, it felt quite natural and stable… as they say, it was just like riding a bike!!
How I wished that I had been introduce to yoga from a younger age as I am sure my love of gymnastics would have prepared me well for all these tricky Asanas.

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