The Dolphine Posture Or Half Headstand (Ardha Sirsassana)

Type : Sitting


Justification : Inversion (preparation for headstand)

Complimentary Posture : Adho Mukha Virasana


 

Physical Benefits :  Improves circulation to the head.  Reinforces shoulders, shoulder blades and scapulaire belt.   Stretches  arms, shoulders, hamstrings, calves and arches while strengthening the arms and legs.

 

Therapeutic Benenfits :   Relieves tension headache, mild depression, insomnia and sciatica. Also good for relieving menopausal symtoms.

 

Limitations :  To be avoided if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, slipped disc, vertigo, inflammation in the ears, myopia, asthma, cold or sinus problems.


How To Practice :

 Fold a blanket or sticky mat in four and place it in front of you on the ground. Place the formearms firmly on the mat with the elbows shoulder-width apart-no wider !!!. Interlock the fingers at the roots. The distance between the elbows should be equal distance from each elbow to the interlocked fingers forming an equal triangle. Place the crown of the head on the blanket just inside the cradled fingers. Lift the knees up and straighten your legs keeping the toes on the floor. Walk in to your elbows on your tippy toes as close as you possibly can.  Breathe 5-6 breaths and come back down into Vajrasana to recuperate. Repeat 3 times.

 

Tips : You can try lifting one leg up to the ceiling and then the other as this is a preparation for the full posture, Sirsasana. You can also walk into your elbows with your head lifted to intensify the movement in the shoulders, shoulder-blades and upper back. Make sure the crown of the head is centered firmly on the mat or blanket and you are not rolling too far onto the forehead or the back of the head.  Make sure the clasped hands are supporting the back of the head.

 

As this posture increases blood-circulation to the head and obliges you to breathe deeply, it can do wonders for tension headaches ! It also reinforces and opens up the shoulder girdle while giving the back of the legs a great stretch. This is a fun first step to the full handstand.

Reclining hand to big toe pose : Supta Padangusthansana

Supta Padangusthansana : (Reclining hand to big toe pose)

Supine Posture

Self complimentary posture

Justification :  Ham-string stretch

Physical benefits : Better circulation in the hips, legs and feet. Aligns the pelvis. Balances the two sides of the back. Opens the hips and stretches the hamstrings, thighs, groins and calve muscles. Strengthens knee and ankle joints. Stimulates prostrate gland and abdominal organs, thus aiding in digestion. Helps recovery from cardiac condition.

Therapeutic benefits : Relieves sciatica, backpain, and helps to relieve menstrual cramps.

Removes stiffness and arthritus in hip joints and prevents hernia. Calms high blood pressure.

Limitations: Although a good pose for high blood pressure, use a blanket or brick under the head in this case. Do not practice if you have diarrhea, asthma, bronchitis, migraine or stress related headache. Do not do the variations (ex.: Parivrrta Supta Padangusthasana) during menstration.

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