Many Yogis and Yoginis experienced a cold, difficult and long winter this year. This is particularly true if you live in northern area of the United States. Finally, we are seeing a resurgence of the gentle warming rays of the springtime sunshine. With the sunlight and warmth, comes the unfurling of new leaves and the blooming of spring flowers. The beautifully scented, violet-blue lilac is one of the first flowers to bloom in the springtime. Its heady scent is intoxicating. Symbolically, the lilac is said to represent love. This is all well and good, you may be thinking, but what does this have to do with Yoga?
The practice of Yoga is a wonderfully effective way to reinvigorate your entire body. When we feel the pulsation of energy throughout our entire being, it is much easier to achieve our dreams and flow with the ever-changing panorama of life experiences. When our life force energy is stuck, it is far more difficult to initiate new projects, articulate our feeling and needs, or even be in touch with our own creative potential. Although the wintertime can be a cozy time of quietude and reflection, it can also be a period of time during the year when stagnation and inertia increase.
On the other hand, the springtime generates a sense of new energy, optimism and hope that requires the release of stagnation and inertia. Many Yoga postures will help to increase the sense of energy and optimism as deep-seated tension is released through the practice. A regular practice of a variety of Yoga postures will also help to balance the flow of life force energy throughout the entire chakra system. According to ancient Yogic texts found in the Hindu tradition, there are seven main spinning energy centers that lie along the body, known as chakras.
The violet-blue color of the lilac governs the Sahasrara Chakra, which is located at the crown of the head. This chakra is the seventh chakra in the Hindu depiction of the spinning energy centers that lie along the central axis of the body. Yogis and Yoginis who have experienced this chakra directly describe it as pulsating violet-blue lotus flower with a thousand petals that dance and sway in the internal light of divinity. Symbolically, the Crown Chakra represents the doorway to infinity and oneness with the Divine essence of life. It also represents a sense of detachment from the illusion of the permanence of this world.
* Supported Headstand
Inversions of all types will help to increase the flow of prana in the Crown Chakra. This includes Downward Facing Dog, Dolphin Pose and Standing Forward Fold. However, Headstand is one of the most powerfully effective Yoga Postures for increasing the flow of fresh energy, oxygen and nutrients to the Sahasrara.
Headstand is considered to be an intermediate Yoga posture. However, practicing it in a supported fashion along the wall will make it much more accessible to students who are still in the beginning stages of their Yoga practice.
Headstand is usually practiced towards the end of a Yoga class. When you are ready to practice Supported Headstand, bring your Yoga mat perpendicular to a wall in your home or studio. Come to a kneeling position on your mat facing the wall, and then place your elbows on the mat approximately twelve inches apart with your hands clasped. Your forearms will form a triangle. Shift your weight to your forearms and hands and with an inhale; gently kick your legs up the wall. You may wish to practice a few times with some gentle kicks before extending your legs completely up the wall.
When you have inverted your body and your legs are resting along the wall, hold Supported Headstand for three to five minutes. Keep your feet flexed and your legs together. Do listen to your body, and if you tire or are experiencing any neck or head pain, come gently out of the posture and rest in Child’s Pose. When you have finished practicing Supported Head Stand, slowly bring your legs down to the mat and rest in Child’s Pose for two to three minutes. You will feel a new sense of aliveness, energy and clarity in your Crown Chakra after practicing Supported Headstand.
© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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