Boldly Go Nowhere in Headstand

The King of Poses cultivates balance, confidence, and poise. BKS Iyengar called it one of the most important poses, and “the basic posture.” The headstand we practice is actually Supported Headstand, thank goodness– Salamba Sirsasana, not Niralamba Sirsasana. In Niralamba Sirsasana, you are standing on your head with your arms reaching skyward alongside your body. This is too risky for my taste as a yoga teacher.  Our more modest but powerful Supported Headstand still qualifies as royal.

Why? Salamba Sirsasana turns us upside-down, bringing circulation to the brain, which encourages hormonal balance throughout the body. It also revitalizes sluggish organs and improves circulation and digestion. In short, it does wonders for your health.

Furthermore,  headstand calms and centers us. Once you get into the posture, where is there to go? What is there to do? Headstand is an antidote to the frenetic pace of modern life. If you feel the need to put your feet up, there is no better way to do it. You will come out of the pose refreshed and rejuvenated– quite literally, you might feel like a kid.

To practice the pose safely, we need to learn a thing or two, hence the Headstand Posture Clinic on Saturday, November 7th at 11:30 a.m. I went from terrified to tranquil in headstand, and you can, too.  With my history of head injuries and surgeries, and a too-long neck (that lacked any curvature until years of yoga practice created enough curvature for my neck to be considered stable), headstand used to be iffy at best. Now, thanks to a  teacher who took the time to look at my body’s specific needs (Theresa Elliott), I am happy in the pose. I even fell asleep in it once! (That was iffy.)

If you are planning to attend the Posture Clinic, Welcome! I’m really glad you’re going to join us. I suggest you practice Downward Facing Dog, Forearm Balance, and Dolphin poses in preparation, along with anything that safely stretches your hamstrings. If you have eye issues, high blood pressure, or are pregnant, please double-check with your healthcare practitioner that it’s o.k. for you to invert.

Lastly, let go of any fear you have. We will take it one step at a time, and you will only go as far as you are ready to go. You can practice parts of the pose, and when you’re ready to go up, you can do this with assistance in a corner of the room, with walls for support. Posture Clinics are about learning, while mastery comes with practice. See you on the 7th!