Thursday 25 October 2012

Inversions: Notes from our "Advance Your Asana" Series

Inversion Workshop

Headstand- Sirsasana
 *Stimulates parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for stimulation of "rest-and-digest"), cardiovascular, lymph, endocrine, and digestive systems
 * Lowers blood pressure
·               *Clears thoughts, great for awakening the mind
·          *Helps one become balanced and self-reliant in pain and pleasure, loss and gain, fame and shame, defeat and victory.
·           *Enhances prana and life force

*Eyes should never bulge or be bloodshot- keep a calm dristi (gaze)
*Weight only in head, not in arms-lift out of the connection of the floor
*Draw shoulders away from ears to free the cervical spine (neck)
*Rectus abdominus muscles engage to prevent ribs from bowing out
*Draw inner thighs together so that balance is gathered in and pinpointed to sweet spot on the head
*Lift the spine to avoid dumping into the neck
*Eventually 95% of weight is in the head

** For females, Sirsasana is a challenge because they aren’t as strong in the upper body and have a bigger proportion of weight in the hips and thighs
***For males, Sirsasana is a challenge because they tend to have poor hip flexibility, therefore it’s harder for them to get their hips stacked over their shoulders

“Sirsasana is really a blessing and a nectar. In this asana alone, the brain can drawn plenty of prana and blood. Memory increases admirably. This leads to natural Pranayama and Samadhi by itself”~ Swami Sivananda

Shoulder Stand – Salamba Sarvangasana
“ The pose is called Sarvangasasa because it influences the thyroid and through it the whole body and it’s functions. In Sanskrit, Sarva means “the whole” and Anga means “the body”. ~Swami Kuvalayananda

·        *Healthy blood circulates around the neck and chin which relieves asthma, breathlessness, and bronchitis.
·       * The firm chin lock stimulates thyroid and parathyroid glands, as blood supply is increased.
·        *Soothes nerves and relieves headaches 
·       * The changed in bodily gravity affects the organs, so the bowels move freely and constipation vanishes. Also relieves pain in the stomach and colitis
·        *Leaves you feeling strong, happy and confident.
·        *Allows prana and new life to flow freely, leaving the mind at peace.

·        *Keep the natural curve of the cervical spine so that it can bear the weight of the head perfectly
·        *Lift centre of the neck towards the ceiling and life the chest to chin to avoid gripping the neck
·        *During your first few attempts, the centre of gravity may be in the hips, and your bum and legs might be behind your head. With practice your legs will go straight up over head, and you’ll balance with little effort.
·        *Press upper palate of mouth into the ground, as well as forearms (connect to foundation for full extension through the legs)
·        *Pull energy from the pubic bone up the inner line of the legs, and our through the inner big toe to release pressure out of the low back, and to extend the spine.
·       * Keep elbows hugging together. Eventually the elbows will be outer shoulder distance apart.

** Headstand (King)- Celebrates power and consciousness
     Shoulderstand (Queen)- nurtures the body

“ Take as much time as you need-weeks, months, or even years-to work on the preparatory poses. Once you do float up in Headstand, the ease that you will experience in the pose will be worth your efforts.”~ Patricia Sullivan