Where do I stand? Head and Shoulders?

I don’t think any particular movement or yoga pose is inherently dangerous, but I do think that certain movements or yoga poses can be dangerous if done carelessly and mindlessly. Each asana is a challenge to contort the body, and therefore the mind, and some more than others. I’ve been reading about the demonisation of salamba sarvangasana (shoulderstand) and salamba sirsasana (supported headstand) for a while now and I fail to understand the particular problem with these poses. Meanwhile, I don’t see anyone talking about the dangers of super deep back bends, arm balances, or nasty twists, not to mention handstands. If anything, I have to scroll through numerous handstand photographs on Instagram or Facebook! But no-one is writing blogs about how they stopped teaching chaturanga dandasana or phalankasana because the shoulders and wrists have to carry a lot of weight and might easily get injured, instead we talk about the ways to perform such poses safely. Although, one obvious reason for this maybe the relative importance the neck and the head compared with the wrists and the shoulders! Continue reading

Teaching Yoga – I

I’ve long thought about the role of the teacher or lecturer in psychology. That is no longer a part of my life so my thought have been diverted towards thinking about the role of the yoga teacher. As someone who started practicing yoga at home on her own and struggled to learn from books, I think I can attest for the need for an instructor when it comes to yoga. As much as it is a personal practice, yoga practitioner needs (at least) a second set of eyes to watch her journey closely. One practical reason for this is that it is very easy to do the asanas in a way that can result in short or long term injuries. The other reason is that like in any other learning process, one can lose her motivation and give up even due to the smallest of failures or simply due to laziness. Continue reading