When I announced that Shirsasana, who was teaching Philadelphia several years ago during the Headstand, an elderly woman emerged from the room, which was quickly followed by the teacher of yoga. Moments later, they both came back. Later I learned that the student had left the room because she was never upside down in her life and was afraid to try it; Yoga teacher gently convinced her to come back and told her that this was the perfect opportunity. The student hesitated agreeing.
I helped him, I kept there for about 15 seconds and carefully bought it. He stood up, smiled and stared at him with a big hug. The next day, the first thing you said to me, "Could it be upside down today?" They said they had grown up in each class since then. In the ghost 82, this woman faced her fears, empowered herself, and became more capable in the old age than the young.
As rarely, if we've ever deliberately turned upside down, resistance to inversion is natural. But I am ashamed that fear will save us many benefits and enjoyment. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "He did not learn about life lessons who do not fear every day". An unmanaged yoga practice is like marriage without a spouse, lemonade without lemonade or heartless body – the essence is missing. The inversions differ from other physical students in yoga: they allow us psychologically to see things from an alternative perspective. Emotionally direct the pool's energy (creature and personal energy) to the heart center, enabling self-discovery and inner growth. Physically stimulate the immune system and the endocrine system, thereby stimulating and nourishing the brain and organs. If done correctly, inversion also releases the neck and spine tension.
To get these humane benefits – and to prevent injuries, especially on the neck – is essential to learn the correct settings and settings for each pose. I also suggest that women should forgo inversions during their menstrual period. Reverse blood flow is resistant to the natural tendency of the body to release dead blood and endometrial lining and this can lead to withdrawal of menstrual fluid (also known as retrograde menstruation). Other contraindications include cervical lesions, epilepsy, hypertension, heart disease and eye problems. So be careful about your body when you approach these poses, but try them out.
After 36 years of yoga, I practiced both poses daily and I recommend the same to my students. It takes a while to develop a Sarvangasana and Shirsasana practice. Be patient with yourself and work with a well trained and credible trainer. It takes time to master these two strong poses, but if so, they will enjoy the benefits of life.
© Aadil Payroll 2008