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Asana Analysis

Published on July 25th, 2013 | by Catherine Tingey

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HEADSTAND (Sirsasana)

Yoga - Catherine Tingey

Students ask me why they need to do inversions and the answer really is, you don’t NEED to invert. In fact, there are many reasons NOT to: high or low blood pressure, a history of stroke, gastric reflux, pregnancy, your monthly cycle, neck issues or pain in the cervical spine.

But, if none of those apply to you, Inversions are a fun way to see the world differently, reverse the effects of gravity, tonify the inner organs and just add a little sparkle to your practice.

Inversions also help increase concentration, improve blood flow to the brain, alleviate mild depression, stimulate the pituitary gland (responsible for cortisol levels), and calm the body and mind.

Inversions are considered part of an Intermediate-Advanced practice so if you are new to yoga, I recommend hiring a Certified Yoga Instructor to teach you the basics while ensuring your safety.

ALIGNMENT

A firm base is really key here so if you are entirely new to inversions, I recommend starting at the wall.

Kneeling on your mat in HERO POSE (Virasana), interlace the fingers and set the hands down, pinky fingers sealed into the mat.

Set the elbows and forearms down, about shoulder-width apart.

Place the hairline on the mat, allowing the fleshy parts of the thumbs to bolster either side of the head.

Curl the toes, lift the knees of the ground and slowly walk the feet toward the face. You should feel the weight of the head move from hairline to crown.

Taking your attention to your NAVEL, draw the navel up, activating the core.

Begin to lift both feet off the mat at the same time.

Come down gently with both feet and sit in CHILD’S POSE for 30 seconds before proceeding.

Yoga - Catherine TingeyWORK IN THE POSE

Stay in the pose for 5-10 seconds, gradually working your way up to 30 sec – 1 minute.

Wrap the shoulder blades around the back as you lift the tailbone toward the heels.

Reach the balls of the feet toward the sky.

Press the forearms into the mat and pull the shoulders away from the ears.

CAUTION

Inversions are not recommended for those with neck issues, high or low blood pressure, a history of stroke, gastric reflux, hernia, pregnancy, or women on their cycle.

If you are new to yoga, consider hiring a Certified Private Yoga Instructor to learn the fundamentals of inversions before attempting this pose.

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Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.

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About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.



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