Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Position of the Week

Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage

Yesterday in class, we worked on this pose.

And for those of us who practice yoga, it was one of those classes in which metaphorically all things physical and emotional, melded together to make some sort of sense. The headstand pose is a little frightening. It puts you in a place you are not used to. The inversion. Therefore, you are a little scared. Scared to try something new, scared of the perspective, scared to trust yourself. An enlightening position. I managed to get up into a modified headstand for a long while, and then started straightening my legs. I found the position to be frightening, because I could do it, but it was hard, it required "all" of my focus. And I wasn't willing to allow it. So I stayed up legs tall for only a moment, because I guess I was a bit afraid. Afraid of succeeding today and not tomorrow, afraid of allowing myself to focus, afraid of feeling inverted. So I allowed myself to stay in a modified headstand, because it was much easier.

Before the year is up, I will manage this.

sah-LOM-bah shear-SHAHS-anna)
salamba = with support (sa = with
alamba = support)
sirsa = head

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands
Strengthens the arms, legs, and spine
Strengthens the lungs
Tones the abdominal organs
Improves digestion
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis


Back injury
Heart condition
High blood pressure
Neck injury
Low blood pressure: Don't start practice with this pose
Pregnancy: If you are experienced with this pose, you can continue to practice it late into pregnancy. However, don't take up the practice of Sirsasana after you become pregnant.
******Sirsasana is considered to be an intermediate to advanced pose. Do not perform this pose without sufficient prior experience or unless you have the supervision of an experienced teacher. Some schools of yoga recommend doing Sirsasana before Sarvangasana, others vice versa. The instruction here assumes the former order.

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