Last Monday night in Naomi’s 7.15pm All Levels class we practiced the preliminaries to Headstand. Some of us even managed to get into the pose with the support of the wall if only for a few breaths, but all of us enjoyed the challenge.
Inversions, like Headstand, Shoulderstand, supported Shoulderstand (with a bolster or chair) and Legs Up The Wall have huge benefits to the mind as well as allowing the legs and hips to be free and to take a break from any weight bearing. Most yoga classes will end with a Shoulderstand, supported Shoulderstand or Headstand just before Savasana.
The more experienced practitioners of yoga do not let a day go by without practicing Headstand, maintaining the pose for 20 or more breaths. Turning the body upside down boosts the circulatory, respiratory and nervous system, whilst giving the heart a rest. It is also said to assist with memory with the added blood flow to the brain. The practice of Headstand also helps strengthen the lungs, helping to avoid or remove congestion. As well as the many other benefits, Headstand brings strength and vitality to our bodies. And it’s great for concentration! I only began to wobble when my mind began to wander.
Shoulderstand and other supported inversions offer some of the same benefits but are more of a practice for peace and rest. Who doesn’t need peace and rest? Everyone needs more peace and rest.
I left Naomi’s class feeling stronger and reminding myself to practice Headstand more often. See, got my memory going straight away.
So, those of you who attend my Wednesday and Saturday morning classes – expect to be practicing, or at least attempting, Headstand! You’ll have a bit of fun bunnyhopping your legs up to the wall, and may even surprise yourselves when you get there in your first (or second or third) attempt.