Let’s look at Headstand, Salamba Sirsasana, a pose which we all might like to do but which for many, is totally out of range.
If we already have a compromised neck or spine then headstand is not for us. If we have balance issues or high blood pressure or a multitude of other conditions, then don’t even think about it. But wait! There’s usually a variation that will achieve to varying degrees what the head stand offers.
To experience a simple inversion which puts our body in much the same position as headstand and therefore achieves much of what the full pose has to offer we can stay with Hare Pose. Hare Pose is a relaxing mild inversion which helps to strengthen the shoulders and give our internal organs facelift.
1. From tabletop round your back into cat pose.
2. Engage your core, bend your elbows and lower the top of your head to the floor between your hands.
3. In order to make it a headstand variation, clasp your hands around the back of your head and press into your forearms to keep the back lifting away from the floor.
4. Stay here for 5 or more breaths and then rest back on your heels with head on double fists.
If you are ready to go a little further you can move from Hare Pose into Headstand preparation.
5. Lift your knees, straighten your legs and walk the feet in towards the head. Still no weight in the neck or spine. But lots of work in your shoulders and the torso is even more inverted.
6. Stay here for 5 or more breaths and then come down and rest in child pose with head on double fists..
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training