SUPPORTED HEADSTAND

(SALAMBA SIRSASANA)

 

HOW TO PERFORM
• Come to kneeling on the mat and lower the forearms down. Reach opposite hand to opposite elbow to create an optimum measurement between the shoulders. This means your elbows stack neatly underneath the shoulders. Then interlace your hands together with thumbs facing upwards.
• Lower the top of the head down and place the back of the head into the cradle you have made with your hand position, thumbs facing upwards to provide support.
• Tuck the toes under and begin to lift the hips up so your knees raise away from the mat which in turn will place an increased amount of weight into your arms and head.
• Now you have weight into your arms and top of the head, engage the belly muscles and draw the knees together and lift them away from the floor. This then further increases the weight and action in the arms and head.
• Once you are balanced with knees bent, begin to elongate the legs upwards until they are fully straight. Keep powering into the arms and make sure the elbows haven’t slid outwards. Armpit strength very much features in this pose which makes the elbow under shoulder alignment key.
• Take between 5 and 10 rounds of breath, whatever feels right. To release, tuck the knees back in towards your chest and lower the toes back to the mat. Rest for however long you need in Child’s pose.

BENEFITS
• A sense of freedom by literally turning yourself upside down. See and feel things from another perspective.
• Strengthens the upper body and relieves pressure on the legs, ankles and feet.
• Build inner confidence and overcome inner fears. These advanced inversions take time. So build the strength at your own pace and enjoy the process.

CONTRAINDICATIONS
• Hypertension.
• Eye issues such as detached retina, glaucoma.
• Neck injuries. The upper body strength is very much needed in order to keep the neck safe.