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  • Ashtanga Yoga Plymouth

Headstands and other inversions....

It is generally accepted that the health benefits of inversions are pretty incredible both mentally and physically so worth working towards. However headstand isn’t a good posture to be ambitious with as the risk of injury is high if not done properly. It’s very important that most of the weight of the body is held on the forearms rather than on the head, as there is a risk of huge injury to the neck if the weight of the body is on the cervical spine. So careful alignment, control, and shoulder strength are absolutely necessary. And it’s why I always spend some time talking through the correct arm positioning in class, and also say it could take years before students have sufficient strength and control to try lifting the legs to headstand. It’s also why we don’t use walls, I just offer support to help with confidence if needed. Practicing Primary series (with all those chaturangas!) consistently over time will bring headstand within reach once the prerequisites have been mastered, and enable students to become comfortable, strong, and competent enough to lift with control and not fling the legs up; instead using bandha and breath.....Inhaling while engaging the bandhas to cultivate the energy and strength to lift the legs using the power of the arms and core..... And there’s never any rush to achieve headstand as having our head below our heart in ANY inversion, whether in headstand, shoulderstand, legs in the air or even a forward fold is extremely beneficial for optimal health....It pumps blood to the brain, calming it, helping to relieve stress and depression; gives the heart, adrenal system and lymphatic system a rest; stimulates the thyroid, prostate glands and abdominal organs; tones the vascular flow of the legs; helps relieve the symptoms of menopause, reduces fatigue and alleviates insomnia, as well as building confidence and literally changing our perspective on life!👌🙃💖 Great reasons to practice Ashtanga yoga where the head is below the heart in several postures......with headstand always an option, never compulsory!😉

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