In September, I joined the 200 Hour YTTC (Hatha/Ashtanga). I still remember our first yoga class, when it comes to the head stand. Going upside down is hard for me. I could not get up the first time, second, third … even the tenth time. Every morning we start with the Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series: Surya Namaskara A, Surya Namaskara B, Standing Asanas, Sitting Asanas and finally the Finishing Sequence. In this last sequence we have to hold 25 breaths in Sirasana (Headstand pose). Every time it comes to this posture, I try my best. I know it is a technique. My alignment is good (picture 1) and I notice after practicing my yoga on a regular basis that I am halfway there, but I am afraid to go upside down. And last week I was ready. I felt how my legs wanted to come up and became weightless. It is all about learning to shift the weight and discovering the technique on your own. Keep your body in center and use your breathing. Relax your body. This was my first headstand! Not perfect yet, but now I know that I can do it! After this experience I want to practice to hold the pose and extend my breath in this position to hold at least 60 seconds (10 Ujjai breaths). When you feel steady you should try to lift your body up. It is a bit scary at first, but your mat is right there to catch you if you fall.
HOW TO DO A HEAD STAND?
- You can start kneeling on the mat, interlace the fingers and place the elbows down, shoulder width apart.
- Place the crown of the head down on the mat, lift the knees and walk the legs closer, shift the weight onto the shoulders. (Picture 1)
- Once you feel the legs become weightless, raise the legs up to form a straight vertical line. Your spine is in a neutral position. Do not shift the weights out of the center. (Picture 2)
Do not put pressure on the neck, instead depress the shoulder blades to keep them stable.
So, you are able to lift the body up wherever you are in your practice.
HAPPY HEAD STANDING!
Sabrina, 200Hr YTTC, September 2015