supported Headstand - Salamba Sirsasna
Known as the king of all postures, standing on your head in proper alignment not only strengthens the whole body, but calms the brain.
- Kneel on the floor. Lace your fingers together and set the forearms on the floor, elbows at shoulder width. Roll the upper arms slightly outward, but press the inner wrists firmly into the floor. Set the crown of your head on the floor and cradle your head in your hands.
- Inhale and lift your knees off the floor. Carefully walk your feet closer to your elbows, heels elevated. Actively lift through the top thighs, forming an inverted “V.” Firm the shoulder blades against your back and lift them toward the tailbone so the front torso stays as long as possible.
- Exhale and lift your feet away from the floor. Take both feet up at the same time, even if it means bending your knees and hopping lightly off the floor. As the legs rise to perpendicular to the floor, firm the tailbone against the back of the pelvis.
- Actively press the heels toward the ceiling (straightening the knees if you bent them to come up). The center of the arches should align over the center of the pelvis, which in turn should align over the crown of the head.
- Continue to press the shoulder blades against the back, widen them, and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the weight evenly balanced on the two forearms. It’s also essential that your tailbone continues to lift upward toward the heels. Once the backs of the legs are fully lengthened through the heels, maintain that length and press up through the balls of the big toes so the inner legs are slightly longer than the outer.
- As a beginning practitioner stay for 10 seconds. Gradually add 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay every day or so until you can comfortably hold the pose for 3 minutes. Come down with an exhalation, without losing the lift of the shoulder blades, with both feet touching the floor at the same time.
- Follow this pose with a heart opener such as matsyasana
- Inversion allows for better blood circulation to the brain and eyes.
- Helps to realign the vertebral column, thus correcting any minor postural defects, while strengthening the spine, shoulders and neck
- Puts pressure on the pituitary glands which helps to increase its efficiency
- The weight of the abdominal organs on the diaphragm encourages deeper exhalation so that more carbon dioxide and other toxins are removed from the lungs.
- Therapeutic for asthma, insomnia, and sinusitis
- Serves as a solution for anxiety, stress, mild depression, and anger management.