Monday, November 29, 2010

Tripod Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana II)

If you have been following my blog, you would know that I am getting more confident in my Headstand and have sometimes managed to add in a variation by opening my legs wide in the pose.

In the flow class I have always been just doing the Half Tripod Headstand where my knees would be resting on my triceps.    For the past few weeks, I have managed to lift my legs up for the Tripod Headstand but with Azmi’s help.  Yesterday in the flow class, I managed lift my legs up on my own and stayed up for the five breaths.   

What’s the difference between the Traditional Headstand and Tripod Headstand?   In the Traditional Headstand, the elbows are on the floor shoulder width apart while in the Tripod Headstand, the palms are on the floor with the elbows pointing skyward, shoulder width apart.

How to do the Tripod Headstand

Begin with your hands and knees on the mat. Lower the top of your head to the floor so it is in front of your hands. You'll know your head is in the right position because your elbows will be directly over your wrists and you'll be able to see your hands. Your head and both palms will form the points of an equilateral triangle.

Once your head and hands feel stable, straighten both legs and walk your feet towards your face as far as you can. Shift your hips over your shoulders, and keep your hands planted firmly on the mat. Bend the legs and bring the knees up onto the elbows.  Stay here or work on lifting both legs up into the air coming into Tripod Headstand. Keep your legs together and point your toes.  Hold this pose for five deep breaths.  To come out of the pose, bend your knees, fold them in towards your chest, and lower your feet to the floor.  Bend your knees and push yourself back into child's pose.  

The Tripod Headstand puts more weight on the neck and head and requires more core strength but with the knees on the elbows, the pose feels more stable as you slowly lift your legs.  I find that in order to lift my legs, I need to engage my core and lifting both legs together keep my center of balance. 

It feels great that I have fulfilled my wish to be able to execute my challenge pose for this year which is Headstand (read my January blog post). and I believe that if we change our mindset, nothing is impossible! 

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