Or: what’s all this about standing on your head then?
Yogis do some odd things. From chanting OM to getting up at getting up at silly-o-clock to practice, we can be an odd bunch. No more so than when we start standing on our heads in yoga inversions – and it turns out that there are a surprising number of different ways to do that!
But there’s method in our madness. There are serious benefits to Yoga inversions where the head is held below the heart. And there’s also quite a bit of misinformation out there about what they are! Check out our list of benefits and myth-busters.
Yoga is often quite an individual practice. We are all in our own zone – rightly so, we need to introspect and stay with the breath. But every now and then, a Yoga teacher will say: “Let’s all find a partner for the next asana”. Scary stuff – especially if you’re new to the studio.
It’s perfectly understandable to use this as an opportunity for a loo break! The alternative is to do Yoga…with someone else’s body. That can feel a little strange – but it does open up a whole new world of practice and development. Read on to find out more.
Some benefits of partner Yoga
First – and probably foremost – it’s always lots of fun. After a few moments, the whole room will be chatting and laughing. The ice is broken almost immediately and your partner, who was a stranger a few moments ago, is now working with you like an old friend.
Any pose where the head is below the waist can be counted as an inversions posture. However, most often it’s the poses where the feet are above the head that are called “inversions”.
Why do inversions?
Hatha Yoga is an amazing physical practice. If you read into it a little, you soon see that there is no part of the human body that is not targeted for practice. So, of course we would try to stand upside down. Hatha Yoga creates people who are as strong and stable upside down as they are standing upright.
Buddhist philosophy is intensely practical – in a very physical way. This blog tries to explain how you can use your Yogafurie Hot Yoga practice to deepen your understanding of Buddhist ideas.
Invitation for free thinking
The Kalama Sutta relates a discussion between the Buddha and the peoples of a district in the north east of India. In it, the Buddha encourages people to think for themselves in a reasonable way. What follows is not a translation, because most translations use a sort of Biblical language. I’ve presented a contemporary reading.
Our Breath is closely linked to our nervous system, read on to find out more!
Just for a moment, before reading any further, take a long, slow breath in. And then exhale for twice the amount of time it took to breathe in. Take note of what effects you might notice; maybe your body relaxes where you didn’t realise tension was being held, for example muscles in the face, shoulders, chest. Perhaps you notice a subtle shift in your mind set, perhaps you suddenly see more colours in the environment where you’re sat. A lot can change from just that one, single, lovely and purposeful breath. And when this is practiced for more than one breath and daily, perhaps taught regularly in a yoga or meditation class, the long terms effects can be phenomenal.
Take flight and enjoy a twist with the arm balance Parsva Bakasana – Side Crow
As a challenging arm balance, and a step further than Bakasana variation and full Bakasana, Parsva Bakasana or Side Crow helps to further one’s confidence with balance. This helps to strengthen muscles in the belly, the spine and the arms. As great as this pose is, it’s important to prepare the body for such work with some targeted asanas beforehand.
It’s best to avoid this pose if you are currently dealing with wrist or lower back injuries.
Read on for instructions how to safely practice this pose at home!
Many cultures – for a long time now – have regarded thinking and intellectualism as the defining characteristic of humanity. It’s all that’s best in people. The functions of the rest of the body, and how humans behave from those places, generate different responses.
For instance, there’s great joy in eating – but also the curious spectacle of the “Bushtucker Trial” on mainstream TV.
Love and it’s many and varied outcomes are the subject of most of the music we listen to. But there’s a reluctance from all nations to step forward and end, once and for all, the starvation, exploitation and disease suffered by millions.
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