Saturday, October 19, 2013

Upside Down




   "Striking a balance between gravity and levity is a significant challenge for the human spirit." -E.L.

Being upside down is a very compelling experience. Everything that we know gets flipped and we see, at once, from a totally different and rare perspective. Practicing the yoga Headstand (Sirsasana) is one way to bring this unique view into our daily lives while also countering the dense, long-term effects of gravity on our minds, bodies and spirits. Sirsasana possesses many benefits to the whole of ourselves. 

Mentally, this pose can be intensely soothing and calming, bringing a sense of peace amid the constant chaos of the world. This King of Asanas encourages a restful sleep and increases one's mental capacity while awake. Our brains are saturated with the flow of blood and energy and in return, reward us with a heightened capacity to concentrate, focus and envision beyond the ordinary. 

Emotionally, balancing in this way boosts self-esteem, confidence and eliminates fear-based ways of thinking and acting in the world. Being upside down is, ironically, very centering and upon return to our normal axis of position, we find that we are more balanced, poised and even-keeled. Our Western so-called civilized tendency towards lethargy, depression and self-loathing is alleviated through daily Headstand practice. And as a result, our spiritual faculties are awakened. The pituitary gland is said to be stimulated by this pose to secrete more of the "happy hormone" endorphin. It's no wonder then that children feel so happy playing around with headstands. 

Physically, we may see benefits as amazing as the reversal of gray hair and a reduction in wrinkles, as the head is given a rush of vital nutrients through being on the receiving in, for a change, of increased blood flow. According to yogavibes.com, Headstand pose provides us with a natural and organic facelift! The body is warmed, cleansed and revitalized by this asana. Our legs, neck and spine are strengthened while our lungs and heart are opened. We see relief from digestive, musculoskeletal and respiratory system disorders with continued practice of Sirsasana.



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