Yogas Natural high

I remember my first yoga class and walking away on such a natural high. I hadn’t experienced a feeling like it before. This happened again when I finished by first Bikram class. They feeling of total euphoria and knowing that the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders if for only the moment. 

That high has not been able to be replicated much in my day to day life but returning to the mat, no matter the mood from the day or what’s going on in my mind, I knew that at the end of a class that this feeling will reveal iteslf at some point. No amount of drugs or alcohol can mimick this kind of “high”. It comes to you in a flood and may last a moment or continue for hours. Yoga teaches students to empty the mind and it becomes just you and the mat. No sneaky thoughts of what you have to do, replaying the day etc those feelings and thoughts simply dissapper. Of course we all have good and bad days where sometimes that little voice that most of us listen to too often rears its ugly head, but you take the good with the bad and continuing with your practice is a great way to teach yourself these lessons. 

We run around all day thinking we must get everything done , impress people with tales of our riches wether it be fincial, emotional etc. As human we need to “one up” one another. We pass judgement on others based on the colour of their skin, how much money they have, where they live, who they associate themselves with. We are all guilty of passing judgement on those we deem below us. Yoga teaches you to understand others and listen rather than judge. 

You can be having the most amazing day or even the worst and yet the practice of yoga has the ability to teach your mind and body to connect and realaise that the the moment you are truly at one with your self. I guess it’s the combination of stretching, pulling and clearing the mind that does it. 

Bringing yoga into your life can only make it better. Have you every heard anyone say that yoga makes you feel worse or can’t change your thought process. I have been able to calm myself in situations where previously I would have had some sort of break down. It makes you appreacite the smallest and largest things that many take for granted. The sun rise, the sound of rain, I find myself walking down the street and smiling because im listening to music and getting lost in the moment or a certain thought. Yoga does the same thing. 

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Headstands (My Progress)

After six months of practicing yoga it was time to move onto headstands. This was a poses that I wasn’t confident in doing for fear of falling over and hurting myself. I avoided getting both legs up (just raising one leg at a time and not kicking off and would rely on walls to catch myself and not being able to stay in the pose for long. So after a few months of practicing them I wasn’t progressing any further. 

When on holiday last year in January I went down to he beach to try them free standing. After numerous attempts of kicking one leg up and then trying two legs I started to understand what parts of the body had to work with others. I fall numerous times but the sand seemed so feel safer than concrete. 

6 months of practicing
 

I started to understand that’s it’s all about where you place your hands and head. The neck has to be supported as it is going to hold your entire body weight once you are up in the air. Placement of your foremans and hands is critical if you’re going to be resting all the weight on neck. 

I had to remind myself that yoga isn’t about getting into the posture or how long you can stay in it or how good it looks; it’s about the process of getting into it. Understanding what muscles you are using and connecting the breathe, body and mind.

After many weeks trying them I started to get the hold on getting my legs up and staying up with the support of a wall behind me. When we attempted headstands in class I edged my feet and legs off the wall a little each time to try and balance. It’s progress over perfection that reminded me not to rush as I could end up hurting myself. 

Fast forward a year down the track and am happy to say I can get into a headstand unsupported by a wall and hold the pose for a considerable  amout of time. Always trying out different legs variations and kick offs to get legs up. This pose releases a lot of blood to the head and the “rush” from them is a great high. It’s pays when you come out of them tonrest in child’s poses to allow the blood to return to normal flow. 

Headstands are fun and offer a different perspective of the world. We should spend more time upside down. 

A few months later. Free standing and accompanied by Monique
Almost a year after first trying headstands
Variation where head isn’t not supported my hands.
Progress going well
Variation of headstand with splits

Key things to remember:

  • Placement of foremans and hands 
  • Support neck and head
  • Engage core muscles 
  • Try one leg at a time until confident.
  • Use a wall for support when first starting out. 
  • You are bound to fall out at some point. Learn safe ways to come down
  • Be aware of what’s around you. 
  • Return to child’s poses after to allow blood flow to return to normal. 
  • It’s not a race or getting into the pose the fastest. This can cause damage to your body. 

Namaste