Headstand / Sirshasana

Hi guys,

We are working in our Yoga classes on  Headstand Postures / Sirshasana (sanskrit name). They are incredible as you stay in an inverted pose, build up lots of muscle strength and help you concentrate and clear your mind.

There are many nice variations for Headstand Postures, for example the “Supported Headstand Posture / Salamba Sirshasana”. You place your hands in front of your head forming a triangle, so the arms can support your Headstand. How does it work?

Sit in Thunderbold / Vajrasana with your hands in Namaste in front of your chest. Take 3 deep breathes to relax your body and mind.  When you feel ready to start,  bend forward, place both hands and the crown of the head on your mat. Make sure that your forearm and upper arm are at about 90° and both hands are in line. Both hands and the head should form a triangle. Arrange your head, your arms and hands until you feel comfortable. Relax your shoulders (push shoulders away from your ears).

Supported Headstand Posture / Salamba Sirshasana Video

Now lift up your knees and your hips and straighten your legs, have your feet together, and your toes tucked in. Again make sure your hands, neck and head are comfortable. Always listen to your body. If everything feels fine, you can start walking your feet towards your face, lifting up your back until it almost becomes straight towards the ceiling. Your legs are now close to your chest. Roll up your spinal cord a bit more and stand on your tiptoes. You can rest here, and breath for 3 -5 deep breathes until you finish in childs pose. Otherwise:

Try lifting one foot, leg bent, then lift your other foot, and hold both feet together in that position, legs still bent. Stay here for 3 -5 complete breathes to get acustomed to the Inverted Pose and, with training, build up muscle strength in your abdomen and arms before you go further. You should be able to hold this position for a minute or longer.

Next, start raising your thighs slowly and carefully, balancing your body weight, until they are almost in line with the spinal cord. Then lift your lower legs up and bring them in line as well.  Now you are in the Supported Headstand Position. Make sure your head and neck are fine, keep on balancing the weight and stay up as long as it is comfortable. Breath normally and try to relax.

When you wish to finish, bend your legs slowly and lower them in a controlled way to the floor, the same way as you came up. When your feet touch the ground again, keep your head on the ground and just sit in childs pose for a while before you raise your head again. Take your time.

If you are practising by yourself it might be helpful to be near a wall. You can place your head about 10 to 20cm away from the wall, so that in case you loose balance the wall will hold you or you can ask someone to assist you.

Beginners should always start slowly while listening to their body, starting one step after the other. If it is too hard for your head, double the mat, and make sure both hands are completely flat on the mat or floor.

Benefits of headstand: This posture is very energizing, and helps to keep your body healthy, balances the repiratory, digestive and circulatory systems, and relieves stress. It tones and strenghtens yours arms, abdomen and legs. It is said to be the greatest of all Asanas, as it has many benefits when practised regularly.

Sirshasana in general should not be practised if you have neck problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammations or problems with the eyes, ears, digestive or respiratory system.  Do not practise when you do not feel well. Do not force yourself into a pose you can not do. Yoga is about practising, being in that very moment, knowing your mental and physical strength and improving step by step.

Have fun!

The green and underlined postures can be clicked on to find more information about that particular pose. If you would like to have more information also about HATHA YOGA in general, please visit my Webpage by clicking on this link: www.abouthathayoga.com

If you like what you read or have any comments, please contact me and give me a like and subscribe for my newsletters. I post whenever I have time to add something. Namaste !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring and Yoga

Wintertime is over and spring season started. Yip. It is the favorite season for many. As the days get longer and warmer, plants and trees start to grow and flower, birds singing in the trees and life is full of energy.  It is a perfect season to fresh up, clean up and increase our energy level as well. Being more outside in nature, meeting up more often with friends, starting or extending with exercises, eating more fruits and vegetables and letting go of things in mind and at home comes almost naturally.

Maybe you always wanted to start with YOGA, but never really managed to do so. NOW is the perfect time to bring it in your daily routine. Here are some very nice YOGA postures, combined in a little flow, which you can practise e.g. in the morning or evening or whenever you have some time in between.

You only need a few minutes for this nice short flow of HATHA YOGA postures and you can easily practise it as a routine (every morning at the same time, e.g. 7:30am) to get used to YOGA if you are a beginner or to get used to practising regularly by yourself. That is the most important thing!. Go ahead and pick a good time for you to practise and then JUST DO IT for a week, you will see after that your body is getting used to the routine and does it almost automatically.

Please click on the above video and you can view the flow easily.  Before you start make sure you are completely comfortable and have read the above description of the exercises.

 

EASY FLOW  with

Thunderbolt/Vajrasana,  Cat and Cow/Marjariasana and Bitilasana, Downward facing dog/ Adho Mukha Svanasana, Childspose/ Balasana

Start sitting in VAJRASANA (Sanskrit name) on your lower legs, knees hipwide apart, your back is straight and your shoulders relaxed.                      With an INHALE, come to a kneeling position, lift both arms over your head and bend your upper body slightly backwards, in BACKWARD BEND.      With an EXHALE lower both arms and place hands on the mat, right under your shoulders, in CAT POSITION, arch up your back.  INHALE and raise your head while depressing your spinal cord, your arms are always straight in this position.  Next EXHALE lower your head, and arch up the spinal cord.      With your next INHALE come to a basic position with a straight back and head in line with your spinal cord, then tuck in your toes. With an EXHALE lift up your hips and come to DOWNWARD FACING DOG, arms and back are straight and in line, legs can be bend but try to straighten them as much as possible. The goal in this position to have the back straight. Breath continously in and out through your nose.  With an INHALE come down with your knees into basic CAT POSITION again. EXHALE and sit on your lower legs in CHILDS POSE, stretching your arms to the front. With an INHALE walk your hands to your knees and roll up vertebrae by vertebrae until you sit again on your lower legs in VAJRASANA.

Repeat this flow like 3 times in the beginning and remember it, so you can practise this as a routine easily every day.  Lateron it is easy to combine  more postures or stay longer, e.g. 3 to 5 breath cycles, meaning 3 or 5 deep in- and exhales while staying in the posture.

Please check out the VIDEO part on my Webpage www.abouthathayoga.com as I will add more videos with variations to this easy flow for you, so you can continue and extend your YOGA FLOW.

Thank you for reading and watching. If you like it, please subscribe to receive more interesting news about HATHA YOGA in the future.

NAMASTE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Yoga a good option for me?

Frequently asked questions:

1.) Is Yoga a good option for me?
If you are looking for sports that

    • improves your physical health
    • makes your body more flexible
    • improves your overall well-being
    • distracts you from thinking too much about too many things at the same time
    • gives you a break from stress
    • connects your body with your mind
    • releases tensions and/or
    • helps you prevent backpains, headaches and stiffness

then YES, Yoga is the perfect fit for you. It can be practised by anyone, no matter what age or abilty. Yoga can be done while sitting on a chair, on a mat in lying or standing position. This is a non-competitive technique with the only goal: to help yourself with whatever you want to be helped with (as above mentioned). It is not important how many postures or exercises you can do or how well you can do them, it is not important what you wear or how flexible you are. The only important thing is to challenge yourself in any revised exercise or technique and surpass your own goals.  If you are ever on Mallorca and would like to try out Yoga, please contact me and we can arrange to have a class of Hatha Yoga together. I offer group and private classes.

If you like what you are reading, please give my post a LIKE.  If you have any questions about Yoga yourself, please do not hesitate to ask.

Namaste!

P.S. To access my webpage, please click here: AboutHathaYoga.com  

 

Children and Yoga?

Children and Yoga?

Children love to play, run, be loud, be silent, be happy, imagine things and go on fantasy trips. They want to explore, have fun and show a general interest in lots of different subjects, as in animals and nature.

In doing that they develop to their best. Our job as a teacher, parent or friend is to support and help them in doing what they love. Today even little children may feel pressure and stress, already flooded by so many stimulations from their surroundings. Some become shy, create fear to perform in front of others, develop learning or communication problems.

Yoga, here Hatha Yoga, can help them to keep body and mind connected.  It is an old tradition from India, combining breathing, active movements (postures, asanas), time of silence and relaxation. It is non competitive. Especially in the beginning doing a perfect pose is not the goal. The goal is to explore Yoga with fun while learning to relax and combine breathing with the postures. Yoga can be learned step by step, starting from a young age, for example 3 years old and may be practised after for a life time!

Yoga kids

 

Benefits in practising YOGA are:

  • to improve co-ordination and posture
  • to become more flexible
  • to be able to focus and concentrate better
  • to increase attention span
  • to understand how to relax
  • to practise a non competitive activity
  • to tone and build up core and muscle strength
  • to learn to accept and respect themselves and others.

 

They can use YOGA in any situation of their life. In dealing with stress, pressure or fear. Using a relaxation or breathing method (pranayama) or allowing themselves to be strong as the lion, wise like an owl, fearless as a tiger or relaxed as a cat. Whatever fits best to them personally!

Yoga Kid balloons

 

 

You are very welcome to share your experiences regarding Yoga with children with me in sending a comment to this post and/or a LIKE. For further information, please click on the underlined green words! or access my webpage AboutHathaYoga.com 

Mudras

Hi guys, today I like to answer one question which is frequently asked.

What does “Mudra” mean and what is it ?

Mudra is a Sanskrit word for mark or gesture.  In Hatha Yoga we use a lot of hand gestures when we do meditation or breathing exercises. You also find them in Asanas, for example in Natarajasana/Lord Shivas Pose (a balancing pose with a straight arm performing Jnana Mudra). They help you connect and have influence on the energy flow in our bodies. Some mudras involve parts of the body or even the whole body!  Amazing how these “small” gestures can help us concentrate and focus more and even redirect the energy flow in our bodies.

Try it, and then really be aware of when you are holding your index and thumb finger together performing a mudra and all the many nerve roots in your fingertips are connecting, allowing a stimulation, an energy flow and redirecting the flow into your body!

Let me introduce 4 different Hand gestures you can use and which we often use in our practise of meditation, pranayama and asanas

1.Chin Mudra

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Thumb and index finger are touching and forming an O.  All other fingers are relaxed but slightly apart. It is said that this is the gesture of consciousness. When you use it in a meditation pose, place your hands on your knees with the palms facing upwards (receiving pose). You face your palms upward showing you are open in mind and consciousness.

2. Jnana Mudra

Jnana Mudra

This Mudra is said to be the Gesture of “knowledge” and is performed in the same way as Chin Mudra except that you place your hands on your knees with the palms facing downwards (“giving pose”). Also here the thumb and index finger touch and, along with the knees, they connect and redirect the prana (energy flow) into the body and brain. You also use the Jnana Mudra for meditation and breathing techniques.

3. Dhyani Mudra

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Right hand will be placed comfortable on the left hand, both palms facing upwards, thumbs can touch. Both hands rest in your lap completely relaxed while you do your meditation or breathing exercise. You have probably already seen this mudra on pictures or statues of Buddhas. The mudra is symbolizing freedom coming from the inside, purity, and emptiness.

4. Nasagra Mudra, nose tip position

Anuloma II Anna

Index and middle finger are placed between the eyebrows, and your  thumb, ring finger, and small finger are relaxed on the sides of your face. Your index finger and your middle finger should be straight. While having the index and middle finger on the spot between your eyebrows you will probably develop a very relaxed feeling, being able to concentrate better and focus more, e.g. on your breathing exercise as in Anuloma Viloma.

Have fun in exploring and trying out these Mudra exercises.  You are very welcome to share your experiences with me in sending a comment and a LIKE. For further information, please click on the underlined green words!       And to access my webpage, click here: AboutHathaYoga.com

Many thanks, muchas gracias und vielen Dank!!