Chakra Quick Tip: Grow into Your Headstand
The crown chakra connects us to the cosmos and to “all that is.” The Sahaswara chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” links us to our higher selves and others. To support this subtle energy center, we can bring attention to the crown of the head with this quick tip from Neesha. There are many benefits of inversions, including increased core strength, better circulation, and natural detoxification. If you are new to headstands and are looking for more of an introduction, read Neesha's helpful inversion tips here and see our step-by-step instructions for Supported Headstand, listed below:
STEP 1 - Begin by kneeling on the floor. Use a blanket folded once in half to pad your head and forearms. Place your elbows forearm distance apart on the blanket. Bring the hands together and interlace your fingers, tucking your pinky fingers in toward head so you do not rollover and potentially hurt them. The arms form a triangular base. Crown your head to the floor inside your hands come into dolphin pose.
STEP 2 - Lift your hips up to the ceiling and move them back. Keep lifting through the hips and relax your head and neck. Feel the back of your head resting against the palms of your hands, keeping space between your cupped palms. Use the strength of your arms as your base. Keep your neck long, and keep shoulders lifted away from ears. Maintain length in both the front and back body. Keep lifting through the arms and keep your front, lower rib cage open. When you can stay here for 25 breaths without weight falling into your head and neck you are strong enough to continue. Walk your feet further towards your elbows. Keep lifting through your hips and engage your core. Your feet and legs will almost naturally start to come up off the floor. Bend one knee into the chest, then the other knee. Keep most of weight in your forearms. Almost 70 percent of your effort comes from your forearms.
STEP 3 - Inhale and extend your legs up towards the sky. Hips are over top of shoulders and ankles are over top of hips. Firm up the abdomen and draw the lower belly into the spine. The tailbone should point in the direction of the feet. Keep the length through the front and back of body and keep the neck long pressing the shoulder blades down and into the spine. Relax your face, jaw, and upper palate. Your neck should feel light and long with the correct alignment. To come out bend your knees and bring your feet lightly to your buttocks. With your knees to chest and with core control bring your feet to the floor.
Arms, Legs, Back, and Core
Counters upper back and neck problems; and quiets the mind and prepares for meditation; relieves mild depression.
Props & Modifications:
For a modification, do not take legs up to vertical. Remain in dolphin pose with the feet on the mat and head and arms grounded.