Monday, September 12, 2011

Warrior headstand: Virabhadra sirsasana

Part of the good thing about cracking my knee up is that I find that I am going into poses that require the legs to be straight. I remember trying this one, somewhere floating now in Youtube too, long while ago. And just attempting it awkwardly and getting so very excited with that!  But I now try it, with my straightened (by force legs) and find, yes, it is not so difficult at all:) My weak leg is lagging a bit behind, but that was done deliberately because even the light force with which I jerk is often quite excruciating for me, even me who seems pain-deaf somehow!! So, I lagged that weak leg behind to land it lighter and after the stronger one, so the awareness itself was very relaxing and helped me try that quite well, I must say. Awareness is so relaxing. A lot of my students laugh at me. But for me the calming and ground stuff about yoga is awareness: after that u can do things fast or slow, that is irrelevant:) Time becomes secondary and u are just aware. It is so deeply meditative, even in the midst of movement. Or even in pain. U can be aware. And move a bit back. So exciting... that way, even pain can create the real awareness... the reality of stepping back from that is what it is all about...

So, here is the warrior pose, flowing from Prasarita Padottanasana (Widelegged forward stretch) and moving into a dynamic warrior headstand, and flowing back into the standing pose. To do this, u need to use your back muscles completely and your stomach too, curving the entire back a bit, and then lifting from your core. Come from a strong nirlamba sirsasana, and doing a strong forward stretch (where the weight is learnt to shift to hips and thighs). Very exciting variation.

What u need to prepare:
  • Strong nirlamba sirsasana (even the first variation is fine)
  • Strong forward wide-legged stretch... Otherwise there is a lot of awkwardness when u dip down and then u tend to shift all your weight to your head which won't do, since u want to be able to lift up from thighs and hips and the muscles need to sense that movement and strength
  • And absolutely no fear of falling, because initial attempts could involve some playful fall, to either side or even to the back, if your hips or back curve too much back
  • You really need to move back the hips quite a bit to lift up. That will be learnt I believe only if you can do the standing lunges with awareness of shifting the weight to your hips and thighs instead of the lower legs. Even the prasarita padottanasana is a big lesson in that... most people when they bend forward entirely shift their weight to their head or hands... thus not experiencing the strenght needed from the hips for this..
Happy Sadhana!!

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