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| I need advise from expert Yoga Teachers, please help me|
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|Hello yoga teachers, |
I have been reading many discussions in this Yoga forum about Sirsasana and really confused about what is the right way to do this. Some yoga teachers are telling that benefits of Sirsasana comes through falling down from it. So it should be practiced without support and without wall. I am a junior Yoga teacher and guide my students to practice Sirssasana with a wall always the way we learnt. I don’t know if I am wrong. Please guide me. Thanks in advance..
|Unless you are expert in both doing and teaching headstand without support, only teach it against the wall (assuming that you are experienced in doing and teaching it that way and comfortable with both). If you don't know how to teach a pose to all different types of people, you should probably not be teaching that pose. |
It should be noted that not all commentators on this site are trained teachers. It should also be noted that not all teacher training is created equal. Add to that the idea that different systems have different methodologies (some sound, some not so sound) and you begin to see the stew in the pot.
As a teacher you have undoubtedly chosen a style of teaching and that likely grew out of your personal practice in that style. Therefore it is appropriate to first ask your teacher or peers about such things so that you may get a reply within the context of the style you have selected.
When a teacher has been trained to teach in a certain way and then opts to change that method based only on some random posts on a yoga forum, there's trouble on the horizon. The view would quickly become murky and convoluted. Confusion would only be the beginning.
While there are some things in yoga that are inherently wrong (as they damage the student) most things are not right/wrong or good/bad. That sort of mindset leads only to dogmatic thinking (which is not thinking at all) and squelches the possibilities for yoga to grow in that environment. Some will teach using the wall, others will not. I am of the former rather than the latter.
Which are you?
|Meditation & Unity|
|Weather you perform Sirsasana with support or without support it will give you same results because the goal of Sirsasana is to increase Blood circulation to head (especially to brain). |
The major difference I observed is,
In without support, you will feel higher pressure on your both hands and neck which helps them to make it stronger.
Location: Washington DC
|You have already had some great replies bryan from Yoga teachers here and I hope you understood what to do. Anyway, I would like to tell you to go with your experience and knowledge that you gained through learning, practicing and teaching to your students. I wish you all the best.. |
|You will get so much more benefit learning without a wall. But the process in and reversability out of it are far more important/beneficial than the posture itself. However if you dont know how you cant.So stick to what you know.|
|Thanks everybody for your nice reply. I understood what you said. I only wanted expert’s guidance. Thanks jimg and Gordon and others for your advise. |
Edited by brayanSg 2010-05-27 9:34 PM
vibes - 2010-05-27 8:24 PM
You will get so much more benefit learning without a wall. But the process in and reversability out of it are far more important/beneficial than the posture itself. However if you dont know how you cant.So stick to what you know.
I only wanna ask if you are an expert yoga teacher. I was looking to hear from expert yoga teachers here and i have got it. thanks
|Il answer.But first would like to tell you that I dont like being called an expert generally experts feel they know more than anyone else and are closed up with ego problems. I also dont like to be called a teacher. Teachers (especially in academic learning) are not capable of helping people to learn for themselves but instead spout out information and correct others without allowing students to learn for themselves. Here on this forum i like to throw out questions or statements to help people understand more. Often what I say many disagree with because an 'expert' told them otherwise. Experts once thought the world was square, there used to be experts in hunting witches (who were often just women interested in benefits of medicinal herbs). However I have completed a few different yoga teacher training courses,aswell as neurology,neuro-muscular-skeletal-realignment, anatomy,physiology,somatics,body mechanics,body work,physchology. I have over 20 years experience in yoga and feel experienced enough to say that most yoga teachers (not all) dont know what they are talking about and just follow yoga rules as set by the courses they have been on rather than it coming from deep within.|
vibes - 2010-05-29 6:35 AM
Teachers (especially in academic learning) are not capable of helping people to learn for themselves but instead spout out information and correct others without allowing students to learn for themselves.
That can be true, but I've also had the experience of learning from excellent teachers whose knowledge was so deep that they created a learning environment for their students. Those teachers provided information that lead interested students to discover knowledge on their own. I've been fortunate to have teachers like that in academic settings and yoga studios.....when you find someone like that, you realize how fortunate you are.
Edited by Seeker101 2010-05-29 5:38 PM
|Good points. There is also a huge difference between organic learning and academic learning as done in school.|
|That is really true Vibes. |
|I'll try not to fuel the fire. |
While entry and exit to postures certainly has benefit and should always be done mindfully, I would differ on the position that entry/exit is more profound than the pose itself (but could agree that for YOU it is more profound - whomever "you" happens to be at the time). Actually I take the polar opposite view. Practitioners get far too caught up in coming into a pose this way or that way, often at an "or not at all" perspective and thus squander the benefit of the pose itself. It is quite sad.
I would also take exception to the concept that the goal of Sirsasana is increasing blood flow to the cranium. While this is certainly a layer of truth it is tainted by the term "goal" and it examines the human experience in only one of the five sheaths or winds (vayus). The effects on the circulatory system are certainly part of the physical experience but but not even close to "all" of the pose.
While I understand the nature of teaching in some places at some times for some people, the expression of teaching is not necessarily based on the ways it is poorly conveyed. This, just as Yoga cannot be defined by ten teachers at the local fitness center with a 22-hour Yoga Teacher certificate.
The term "instructor" is one I do not favor as THAT person is someone who repeats a set or list of things to do. A teacher has a mandate to reach the learner and to continue that effort, often finding different ways to approach the same thing over and over AND make that learning malleable to the current nature of the student. Just because some teachers do not embrace the higher calling of teaching does not make "teacher" a less meaningful term.
Edited by purnayoga 2010-05-31 4:10 PM
|Hi Purna my friend. It isnt sad. Its beautiful if understod. Its like going on holiday-how you get there is very important and how you get back is very important. You dont want to break limbs and lose your mind on the way there or on the way back. Reversability defined how good your posture actually is. e.g. holding ones breath,straining the eyes,or unnecesarily using unnecessary effort into a posture and of of a posture.Whats the point of doing a posture if you cant improve yourself through humbling oneself through awareness through movement in and out of a posture? Also you can learn/gain infinite more benefits through the awareness through movement in/out of postures. Often slooooow movement in and out of the postures with good awareness is like millions of variations or micropostures of the posture that one is doing.One can also then become more aware of where there awareness is going during,before and after the posture which is of such enormous benefit. |
Finally if you practice yoga with goals or aims you will never be in the moment and ones yoga will suffer.
|Never mind. I surrender.|
Edited by purnayoga 2010-06-02 1:18 AM
|personally, i prefer to practice and teach it without a wall, but i will use the wall in certain ways to help facilitate it. |
this comes out of my practice and also training and also my teaching experience.
but, this could simply be preference.
|And people think Iyengar teachers are dogmatic....|
|Dogma is a human trait not exclusive to any one branch of anything at all :-)|
Edited by purnayoga 2010-06-02 3:48 PM
|I also forgot to mention-more importantly, how we do things is the hallmark to knowing ourselves. So whether one is extremly flexible,or does amazing balance or is neither does not make one a good teacher. It is helping one to learn how to learn which helps people improve in every class, so the learning comes from within. Then if you know what you are doing you can do what you want-whether headstand,handstand or any other posture or achieving whatever in life.|
Location: Washington DC
|I also give importance on going in/out of postures very slowly and also holding state of postures with complete awareness of what one is doing. This is to feel and realise each moment, the effect of posture while doing this. Thanks........ |
|Glad to hear it Yogacharya! Hopefully Gordon could meet up with you as I see you are both in Washington, Im sure he could benefit much from your lessons.|
|Dan, Dan, Dan...what are you doing sniping at Gordon?|
Location: Washington DC
|Welcome vibes, |
I am travelling to South America right now for sharing my little experience with the Yoga lovers here. I never had the opportunity to meet such a knowledgeable Yoga master like Gordon. I would be happy to meet him in future to learn something about his wonderful teaching technique..
I wish to meet you too. haha
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Firstly, I am not at all an expert, or even a yoga teacher, I am just a beginner of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, so forgive me for answering this question. I just thought you might like to know my point of view anyways, despite my lack of experience.
Secondly, I think a beginner student should have some rudimentary abilities of strength and balance before trying Shirshasana, and that when attempting this asana for the first time there should be guidance and hands-on physical support readily available from a teacher.
Thirdly, I also think there is nothing wrong with doing it against a wall, especially when you start learning headstand (or handstand for that matter) as this will bring some extra support and sense of security to someone who probably is not at all used to falling out of headstand in a safe way.
In fact, a wall and a fellow student/teacher can be a very good prop for learning correct alignment in headstand if done like this: Put your hands and head down close to the wall while your fellow student puts a block (approximately 4 inches wide) against the wall at the height of your thorax just above your shoulder blades (you are now upside down). This teaches the student to not hunch-back and become unstable (with increased risk of falling over), but to instead 'open the heart' and maintain a straighter spine, and good balance throughout your entire body.
And when in headstand you should not (primarily) stand on your head but mostly on your elbows and wrists. It is a good practicing technique to try and only lift your head ever so slightly off the floor, by pressing the floor away with your elbows and wrists. When you get more comfortable you will be able to raise your head completely off the floor, standing only on your elbows and balancing with your wrists/hands. It is not a bad idea to try this against a wall... but mostly, your balance should come from proper alignment of the spine and shoulders, a strong foundation of the forearms against the floor, engaging mula bandha and uddiyana bandha, and keeping your legs active and straight (feet reaching for the ceiling/sky), while breathing calmly, looking at the nose. It is basically Samasthiti (otherwise known as Tadasana) upside down, if you are familiar with Ashtanga (or have a look at: http://www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers/2431).
"Stability in a headstand depends on the distance between your fingers and the center point between your elbows. The more the elbows flare out to the sides, the shorter this distance becomes, and the headstand becomes accordingly less stable.
If your humeri (arm bones) are not longer than the distance between the base of your neck and the crown of your head, the described arm position will compress the neck. If this is the case, press the heels of your hands together and allow the elbows to come apart. This will position your head more centrally in the triangle and the humeri will be perpendicular to the floor. This better accommodates the length of the upper arms. but the shortened stance makes this arm position less stable and thereby more challenging."
(p. 121-122, Ashtanga Yoga: Practice & Philosophy, by Gregor Maehle, 2006)
And then of course, there is nothing wrong with practicing Shirshasana in the middle of the floor without wall/support as long as you can do it confidently and safely, e.g. without falling on top of a fellow student next to you. There are also many variations of the headstand.
Maybe in next life I will become an expert teacher ;)
PS. Vibes, I think Gordon and yogateacher Tonmoy probably don't live very close to each other. Washington DC (District of Columbia) is on the East Coast (where those US politicians reside in the capital of USA), and Seattle, WA (State of Washington) is on the West Coast (that little town of aerodynamics and coffee consumption, aka "Emerald City", "Rain City", "Queen City", "Jet City", "Gateway to Alaska", birthplace of Jimi Hendrix and grunge). DS
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