"The best way to overcome fear is to face with equanimity the situation of which one is afraid." - B.K.S. Iyengar
|9/11/13 Headstand Progress!|
Photo by: Marian Manuel
Being upside down was never easy but I figured there is beauty with inversions!
Headstand. I always wanted to master this pose. It was one of my dreams to perfect, to do and to hold this pose for even few breaths. I am one of those flexible yogis... My teachers usually say, I should learn how to protect my back and take care of it. How? Practice Tummy in, Ribs in, Core in, uddiyana bandha.
By practicing everyday or 5 times a week strengthening my core was part of it. I had several attempts to go up. I'd like to share my experiences and learnings on my headstand practice... and I am still learning.:)
(I will be quoting my teachers here for the whole blog that I'll be writing...)
1.You should have a strong base.
"Do dolphin push ups" - Mae
"Work on your boats / Navasana so you'll have a good foundation for your inversions" - Chris, Lisa and Emma
It is called headstand but the weight should not be on your head. It should be on your arms. strong arms. strong core. never ever collapse your shoulders.
2. There are many ways to go up. You can walk your feet near your head and it will naturally lift you from there or keep your knees curled near your chest (tummy in of course!) or bring both feet to rest on the wall behind you. (You can use your wall!) With any of these - you can pick what is comfortable for you.. don't forget to relax your neck and do it correctly so you'll get the full benefits of a headstand pose.
3. When your ready. Lift the first leg and the other. If not. Stay there and still find your balance.
4. If you can go up and have a strong base - go on. take it slow. no rush here. And BREATHE.
5. Going down - curl the knees, bend the knees or you can come down with legs outstretched. Then Child's pose. Rest. Relax for the hard work.
Okaaay, so this is not just about going up. This is what I've learned and my realizations how to go up, and how I was in the middle for a long time. My very first try with the headstand was with my yoga teacher, Mae. I thank her for introducing this pose to me and guiding me how to do it as a beginner. She always reminds me, 6. "Tummy in, tummy in, ribs in ribs in. Hips forward, Hips forward". I started my headstand practice late 2012 (I can't even remember the dates). But it became more serious when it was in 2013. Until it became my frustration.
7. Very important to eliminate the ego. Never ever compare your practice to others. Every body is unique.
8. Remove the FEAR. In yoga, "where the mind goes and the body will follow". Change is not overnight. It can be done baby steps. little steps.
9. Falling down. You should learn how to fall down safely. Why? So you'll know the feeling and by the time you'll get used to it how to fall down. Nancy, my Jivamukti teacher said "Falling down is fun!"
And in Yoga+ we have the soft floor to fall down. VERY SAFE! :D
10. If you can't do today you can try again tomorrow. "Maybe not today, maybe tomorrow" - Aisa
11. Practice again. Never stop.
"Don't give up! Push Carrrrina!" - Ryan
But don't be hard on yourself. Be patient.
"It's like learning how to ride a bike" - Neil
12. Don't think too much. Yoga is all about journey.... Journey of the self. Through the self and to the self.
13. Attachments. I became attached to the results that I can't go up and I became frustrated and I was sad about the outcome... But I realized this feeling needs to stop. Mind over matter. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale.
"A yogi doesn't get attached to the results of her actions. Just keep doing. Someday it will just happen" -Neil
"Practice everyday, not just getting up but also with the mindset that you are not attached to the result, whether you can do it or not." - Nancy
14. Acceptance - "allowing things to be as they are. Its not about settling or deciding to care less, its about realizing that the only one we really have control over is ourselves. The more we know and understand ourselves, the less we'll be shaken by whatever reality brings." - Manduka
15. Let go. Letting go. Inhale Let. Exhale Go.
16. Believing in yourself and doing the best that you can. "Kaya mo yan!" - Marc
17. If you're already up... Nice! Now, "You just need to find the center" - Will
18. Find your focus. Practice your drishti.
19. Remove Pride, Find progress in every practice. Set your goals. Find commitment. Find Freedom.
20. Find your inner peace. And everything will follow. Think Positive. If you think it is hard then it is going to be hard... If you think it is going to be okay it will be okay. It's like law of attraction. Don't complicate. Again.. Mind over Matter. It starts within you. :D
These are things that I've learned on my mat with my headstand practice that is really applicable out of my mat too. I hope I shared enough and I can add some more in the future or sooner. I am still learning things, I don't play as the master here... :)
Sharing my thoughts and good vibes to the earth!!
I thank for the gift of yoga. Words aren't enough to explain. It
became a huge part of my life or shall I say it is my life now. :)
I thank you yogi friends who is around to help, give tips, support and cheer for you. :)
(Chi, Kat, Ais, Anna H. Anna S., Edel, Binx, Marian..et al.. If I didnt mention you it means i forgot you already.. NO :D. You know who you are.. Thank YOU. :)
And of course my yoga teachers who I look up to every practice... You know who you are... :D
I am blessed to have yoga teachers who inspire me every time I practice.
Lastly, remember to embrace every moment, with an open arms, open mind, open eyes, whether upside down or not.
(May all things be happy and free!)
In case you may want to practice at my studio and meet my awesome teachers-
visit - www.yogaplus.ph