Wrong side up

I remember reading a tagline for an ad for Emirates Airlines……..when was the last time you did something for the first time? I think I was around 28 at that time and I thought, if I could then I would just love to be able to stand on my head. Many people would think of a million things they would like to do for a first time. I’m the most cautious, ‘addicted to the familiar’ kind of person I know. If I never did something new and exciting I would probably never miss it.
I don’t know what it was about inversions that fascinated me, I just knew if I could be upside down, the feeling of conquering the world would be mine. And I suppose that’s all one needs in life…….the feeling of something. So I joined a yoga class where headstand was taught, and thought, its just like learning to ride a bike. Its good I thought that, because if I knew the struggle that lay ahead, I would have bought a bike instead.
If are like me, you will be frightened of every new thing, just because you’ve never done it. And because you’ve never done it, you will never try. If you do try, the frustration of getting there will be the end of the trial, and you will always deny yourself the pleasure of doing something for the first time, because you can’t “get it right the first time”.
My advice to anyone wanting to learn the headstand is to first learn to tumble. Tumble as many times a day as you till it becomes second nature to you. Then build a strong foundation first. You did learn to walk on your feet. You can learn to stand on your head…….regardless of how much you weigh! Practice a lot of sun salutations before hand. Then practice the Dolphin pose. The foundation for the headstand is the positioning of the elbows, lower arms, wrists and fingers. This positioning of the hands and arms is exactly the same for headstand as it is for the Dolphin Pose. Then interlock your fingers in an open fist. Place the top of your head within this embrace. Walk your feet inward and tilt your tailbone up. Keep doing this for a few days. When you can do this with a straight back, then try lifting one foot up. After a few days try lifting the second foot up. If you haven’t got your balance right then, you can just roll out of it, similar to a tumble. If you have got your balance right, then hang in then…….half your battle is won……..its the half headstand. A few days later, you should be able to extend your legs to a full headstand, because your balance is already in place; more importantly your fear of being upside down is displaced. The first thought that came to my head, the first time I did the headstand was……..I wonder why people take drugs to get high……..there is no drug like blood going to your head. Then I was addicted. I stood on my head at work, at home, at parties; I was willing to do the headstand at hello if anyone would let me………As long as I live, and as long as I do yoga, I don’t think I can fall in with any posture, like I did with sirhasana……..It was the first time, I consciously chose to do something for the first time!!!

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