Ancient texts refer to Sirsasana as the king of postures and with good reason as the benefits are many. The pose positively effects four major systems in the body: cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine, and the nervous system.
But for many students, it is not only daunting, it’s downright scary. Being upside down is intimidating enough, but being on your head - well that is enough to make even the most interested student wince.
There are many ways to begin practicing traditional headstand. You can practice near a wall, you can ask a friend or a teacher to spot you, but for those who have suffered from neck injury or have had neck surgery these are still not great options.
I have taught headstand with two chairs (the way it is taught in an Iyengar class) for many years and this helps many people who just cannot put weight on their neck, but even using two chairs can make some students nervous.
When that happens, I bring in my trusty headstand tool. I purchased this tool years ago from Gaiam. You can find it here: http://www.gaiam.com/yogacise-with-power-cords-and-dvd/95-1555.html?k=1
It allows even the most nervous student to practice without fear of neck pain or injury. It a great place to start developing strength and balance and overcome the fear of being upside down, but for those with neck injuries it can be the safest way to enjoy the many benefits of headstand.
If you have questions about this tool, headstand and its many benefits, or you would just like to try it out before you make the investment come by the studio. I brought it in for the week, feel free to try it before or after class. If I am not there, feel free to ask one of the other teachers to demonstrate it for you and spot you.
Happy head standing!
Note: Headstand is a contraindicted posture for those with high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure talk to your teacher about alternate postures.
Posted by Natasha Borg
200hrRYT, Writer, Poet, Veteran, and lifelong student.