The World upside down

Going into a headstand (Sirasana) is not something that we will try for fun or do on the first day of a course. The first thought that came into my mind about doing the headstand was that it was way out of my league to even attempt doing it. It is definitely not something you will get right away just from getting instructions, but knowing what to do is very important! Being in the wrong alignment can cause a lot of undue stress and potential injuries.
My first few attempts were really bad, after a while the body just got exhausted and I start feeling demoralized. Strains on the neck can be felt due to improper engagement of the foundation of the pose. To quote from class “The way to a proper aligned pose always starts from the foundation.”. Other than the physical aspect of it, there was also the mental aspect of it being a tall and heavy guy going into inversion can be quite scary. I was really afraid I may break my neck or injured someone, especially when the trainers help me up to the headstand.
With every attempt as the days passes, there were good days and bad days. One really important thing I felt affecting me was my breathing; I tend to hold my breath and causing tension making it hard to get into the pose. Regulating the breath definitely helps in getting into the pose much easily. The mind seems clearer and anxiety starts to be released.
After numerous tries, I was finally able to lift up my legs though it may not be a complete headstand, but definitely a morale booster to make it better. There was no compression on the neck at all, but definitely working the arms and shoulders. Being in this pose helps to build strength in your rotator cuffs, definitely something you need to get your foundation strong. As much as you will like to kick up in position, it is better that you walk your way up to a weightless feel at your legs as it enables you more control and stability building up the core strength that you need.
To sum things up never rush into a pose without knowing the proper alignment and technique, as it will cost you more harm than good. Yoga is combination of flexibility, strength and endurance, but don’t be scared away by it. For every little step taken is one step closer to the goal.
Kai Wen(200hr Yoga TTC 07/15 weekday)

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