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Yoga
Cool habits to stay fit.
68. Shirshasana
Headstand
To achieve this asana the elbows and hands should be making an equilateral triangle on the ground, and one should keep the elbows directly underneath the shoulders and use equal pressure on each elbow with slight pressure on the head and neck throughout the entire asana. Keep the palms upturned, so that you can place the back of your head gently inside the cup of your hands. Determining the point of contact on the top of the head is skill that is developed with time and practice. Ideally, try to identify the spot on the head that is two to three finger-widths back of the hairline. This helps to maintain an appropriate amount of natural curvature (lordosis) in the cervical spine. (DO NOT TURN THE HEAD while inverted or inverting).From this position, walk the feet back toward the face, stacking the hips over the shoulders. As the hips come over the shoulders, press down through the elbows Slowly, bring the hips back, allowing the pelvis to be directly over the shoulders. Keep walking the feet and pelvis back until there is no weight in the feet. Slowly, bend one knee and then the other so that both knees are pulled into the chest. Hold here, and experiment with the position of the pelvis, until a state of balance is felt. This state of balance becomes obvious when the yogi senses equal pressure on both elbows and gentle pressure on the top of the head.It is possible to do this with your back near to a wall but be sure to keep enough distance from the wall to allow the pelvis to stack correctly over the shoulders. Once this bent-knee headstand position feels settled, slowly inhale the knees up, while keeping them bent, and keep the heels tucked in toward the hamstrings as close as possible. This adds another component of challenge to the balance and control of the asana.Take a deep inhale, and 'breathe' the heels up, coming into the full expression of the asana. The legs are Active when fully extended. This means gently holding the legs together so that the feet touch. Use subtle corrections in the asana to maintain balance.It is impossible to intellectualize a headstand. Sirsasana is about motor skills and spatial awareness. As with all asanas, the breathing guides the movement. Use the inhale to create lift, and use the exhale to release fear. When we find our balance in this asana, the amount of muscle energy required to hold the asana for a few minutes decreases dramatically.
Procedure:
1. Kneel down and grab your elbows with your hands.
2. Keep the elbows where they are and interlock the fingers in front of you. Elbows and hands now form an equilateral triangle.
3. Place the very top of your head on the floor with the back of your head resting against the fingers.
4. Straighten the knees, raise your hips, your body now resembling an inverted V. The weight should be about equally distributed between your head/arms and the feet.
5. Keeping your knees straight as much as possible, walk with little steps, bringing your feet as close as possible to your head. This will shift the weight from the feet onto the head/arms. Keep your back as straight as possible to prevent your neck from arching.
6. Bend the knees keeping them close to the chest and your feet close to your buttocks. Shift the hips to keep your balance.
7. Keep your knees bent and point them to sky.
8. Now and only now straighten your legs. Keep your feet relaxed. Make sure that the head is supporting no more than 10% of your body weight, the rest being applied on the elbows. At first hold it for 5 seconds. Increase gradually to 10 to 15 minutes.
Benefits:
Like most inverted positions, the practice of sirsasana may increase the flow of blood to the brain, improve memory and other functions of the cerebrum. Included in the physiological benefits are the drainage of blood and lymph which are held in reserve in the legs. Any inversion, when the legs are held over the heart, helps to move stored fluids into the core for oxygenation, filtration and elimination of metabolic/cellular wastes
Precautions:
1. Heart disease
2. High or low blood pressure
3. Thrombosis
4. Arteriosclerosis
5. Chronic catarrh
6. Chronic constipation
7. Brain diseases
8. Weak blood vessels in the eyes
9. Asthma
10. Excess weight
11. Chronic or acute neck pain
12. Stiff neck
13. Osteoporosis
14. Kidney problems
15. Conjunctivitis
Position:
The whole body should be straight and perpendicular to the ground, with the toes pointing up. The weight of the entire body is balanced between the forearms and the head. Eyes can be closed to achieve stability of the mind which helps in balancing. Otherwise, the sight can be fixed on one point on the ground to help maintain balance. The breathing should be smooth and through the nose.


Simhasana
Urdhwamukha Tittibhasana
Supta Baddha Konasana
Ardhakati Chakrasana
Bakasana
Angustasana
Vipareetha Shalabhasana
Marichasana
Vrischikasana I
Tittibhasana
Chakrabhandasana
Ekapada Rajakapothasana
Gaudasana
Omkarasana
Rajakapothasana
Veerasana
Parshvothanasana
Shavasana
Sukhasana
Akarna Dhanurasana

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