Mastering your own weight and how you can creatively express your spirit through movement is one of the greatest investments you can have. A passion that requires effort, time and discipline. Something that no money can buy. Not everyone is willing to embark on this journey for a lot of reasons. But when you firmly have the intention in your heart and mind, you won’t be disappointed with the discoveries you’ll come across.
Fully Open Your Back
The practice of Yoga is about transforming the material-based ego to a more conscious Self. It is a humbling experience to realize that being caught up in the modern world suppresses our spirit’s potential. But with regular practice and an open heart, it is not impossible for an individual to creatively express himself/herself with awareness, on both the physical and spiritual plane.
Asana(s) or Yoga postures challenge a person’s will power to unmask his/her body’s strength and his/her mind’s capabilities. One of the most advanced Yoga asanas is Chinstand, also known as Ganda Bherundasana in Sanskrit. This Pose requires the back to be fully open. That means that the hips and shoulders should be open as well.
Before attempting the full posture, make sure that your body is properly warmed up. Chin stand is an advanced pose. There’s no need to rush. It requires patience and perseverance to slowly and safely progress. Here are some poses that will help open the areas that will be engaged throughout the whole posture.
- Ankle to the knee.
- Begin by placing your ankle parallel to your knee, keeping your back straight.
- Make sure that your feet are flexed to avoid injury in your knees.
- Keep the shins stacked at top of each other.
- If the ankles and knees do not touch, use a cushion to fill the space.
- Do this on both legs to open the hips.
- Start in a Down-Dog position.
- Inhale, fill your lungs and exhale bringing your right foot forward between the hands.
- Lower your left knee to the ground and take your hands in prayer.
- Inhale, extend your arms up, sinking your hips deeper.
- Stay in this position for 3-5 breaths and exhale bringing your hands down and your right foot back to Down-Dog position.
- Do the same technique on the other leg.
- Begin with cat/cow stretch with hands and knees planted on the ground.
- Inhale as you arch your back, bringing the scapula closer to each other while keeping your gaze at the sky.
- Exhale as you round your back, activating the shoulders by pushing the ground away.
- You could choose three variations of backbends from bridge, camel and bow pose.
- Stay on your chosen backbend for 3-5 breaths.
Yoga block to full posture
- You have opened your hips and shoulders, and warmed up the spine for a deeper backbend.
- One way of preparing the body and familiarizing yourself with the technique without fully approaching the posture is by using a Yoga block.
- Place the blocks under your shoulders for support while your elbows are bent and brushing against your side.
- Let your chest, chin, and knees to rest on the ground. Inhale lifting one leg up to the sky and exhale lifting the other.
- Stay in this pose for 3-5breaths.
- Use the same techniques mentioned but remove the Yoga block to approach the full posture.
Remember that your chin shouldn’t carry a lot of weight and pressure. Your breastplate and arms serve as the base that carries the weight of your body. This posture is good for strengthening the hips, legs, and back. It also releases tension on spinal nerves, improves the mobility of the spine and develops a sense of balance. If you are suffering any back and neck injury, avoid doing a Chin stand. People with high blood pressure, a heart ailment and hernia are also advised to refrain from doing this pose.
Always practice with good intentions and allow the practice to naturally develop your body and mind’s capabilities. Do not force anything that hurts. Be patient and one day your Chin stand will surely come!