|Courtesy of Yoga Journal. You can go here to see the full entry and learn how to do this yourself.|
It's called "Salamba Sirsasana" or supported headstand. It's supported because you link your fingers together and create a support for your head. Some of the benefits of this pose include:
- relief of stress and mild depression
- strengthens the arms, legs and spine
- strengthens the lungs (something I need as I have the lung capacity of a turnip)
- improves digestion
- therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia and sinusitis
For the longest time, I've had an aversion to inversions. I'm not sure why that is. While everyone else in class (okay, I admit it has been six months since my last class. Don't judge me) is up against the wall or on their mats doing headstands, I'm the one doing a modified child's pose because it is the only inversion that does not give me distress.
I've long told myself that I would not be ready to take a yoga teacher training course until I could do a headstand in the middle of the room without killing myself. It is only a semi-arbitrary "rule". There are some schools who use that as a general indication that you have the ability to follow through with the rigorous training process. Personally, I think it is a good benchmark, which is why I adopted it. And, quite possibly, why I've been "working" on it for four years now. By working on it, I of course mean not doing anything about it.
For the last couple weeks or so, I've been taking a few minutes every evening and turning myself upside down. With varying degrees of success. But tonight was a real success. I held the headstand for maybe 30 seconds without breaking and without using the wall as support. I was upside down, on my own. And it was spectacular.
I am on my way.