Moving Toward Stillness

Originally, when I saw this video, I thought I was going to be headed for the headstand in no time.  I have been following the Super Sisters personal training videos and recipe ideas for a couple of years now.  They’re education style is easy to follow and good for individuals of all ability types.  So began my journey to the headstand.  Seeing pictures of yoginis in photos practicing head, shoulder, and hand stands motivated me to push my yoga practice a bit further.  Headstands require dedication, discipline, and a quiet mind.  The stillness required was a way of me to actively force myself to slow down.

After a few attempts of the first video, the Super Sisters posted a new video for their 7 Day Yoga Challenge.  Although in a new setting (she’s on an incline!) it was the same basic video.  It gave me a foundation of the principles, but I was still struggling.  For the Networked Learning Project, I started to seek out other YouTube videos from yoginis and yogis that present yoga in a way that my brain understand and can then communicate to my body.  I saw this video from Kino MacGregor where she used another person to model the pose.  She also offered some extra tips to help the transition more slowly, guiding the process a little more detailed.  Clearly headstands can be problematic if done incorrectly.

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Still, I was having trouble building up the strength to start the unassisted transition.  I knew I needed strong shoulders, proper form, and a strong core to move into the pose correctly, but wanted extra tips on how to build a solid base slowly.  After some further searching, I found this video from Daniel Scott and he filled in some of the gaps I was struggling with.

First, make your head comfortable.  All of the other videos I saw had the yoga mat flat and in a traditional position, the new video showed the pose working from a folded mat to comfort the crown of the head.  My hair is long and wispy so I usually wear it in a bun, but working on this pose in isolation, I take my hair down.

Next, setting up the foundation was very similar to the other videos I researched, but he offers more variations and takes longer to explain the belief behind each movement.  But the “a-ha!” moment came when he discussed how to be patient and listen to your body.  He explains the entire process of the basic headstand start to finish, but elaborates on the minutiae of each movement.  For me this is why I practice.  I need to focus on every range of movement and sensation to keep my mind from wandering off.  I easily resort to the mental lists running in my head.  Yoga allows me to unplug and focus on something that’s good for me.

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Overall, the progress I have made comes from what level I am according to his video with the next goal lined up, ready to go.  So I continue moving toward stillness.  Finding videos that positively stress the need to slow it down and not push too fast validate my need to stop my constant moving and fussing around.  Mentally and physically.

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