Hi there, it’s Natsuki from TOKYO VEG LIFE! Today, we’ll practice shoulder stand and headstand together It’s been some time since I uploaded videos on sun salutation A & B Have you mastered sun salutation yet? It’s a new year and this video is the first of Resolution Yoga 2020 my new series of yoga videos In this series, we’ll practice together, Half Primary, first half of the first level of Ashtanga yoga series – Primary Series over the year, looking at each pose in detail You may ask, we’re going to take a full year to learn only half of the first level of the series? Ashtanga yoga’s sequences are really well made and they prepare your body gradually so that you’ll be able to try more difficult poses later in the sequence If you skip poses or move forward in haste you will likely injure yourself So particularly if you’re new to yoga, I would recommend really take the time to deepen each pose Even if you’re a long-time yoga practitioner, you may be just practicing in a flow or not deepening each pose as much as you could so you can learn something new from these videos Ashtanga yoga starts with sun salutation A & B followed by a series of poses then there is a finishing sequence at the end Today, we’ll practice 2 poses from the finishing sequence Sarvangazana, shoulder stand and Sirsasana, headstand OK, let’s begin! First, we’ll practice shoulder stand, salamba sarvangazana As the name suggest, shoulder stand is where you use your shoulders to let your body stand in inversion In the beginning, it’s difficult to make your body straight so let’s use the wall to practice Sit by the wall then put your legs up against the wall Move your body as close to the wall as you can so your buttocks are touching the wall Bend your knees, push with the back of your feet and pull your body up put your shoulders in Put your hands on the back, support your body and try to lift the body straight up Tuck your chin in so so it’s sitting in between the clavicles Keep your gaze on your nose, relax your neck straight and don’t bend your neck Inhale and exhale 10 times then push with your feet against the wall Support your body and slowly lower your body Until your core becomes strong enough to support your body straight up practice with both the feet and hands supporting the body Once you become able to keep your body straight up lift one leg at a time then slowly lift both legs off the wall After 10 breaths, slowly move your legs over your head land the feet on the mat Keep your legs straight and hold for 10 breaths Halasana After 10 breaths, put your hands on the back and support your body Find the wall with your feet and slowly lower your body down Even for long-time yoga practitioners many have trouble keeping their body straight up I recommend taking a video of your practice with your phone then if your body is not straight, practicing using the wall Once you’re used to lifting your legs off the wall let’s move away from the wall to practice Lie down on a mat facing up then slowly lift your legs over your head Let them land on the other side of the mat to enter halasana Put your shoulders in, put your hands on the back and lift the legs up again Straighten your whole body to enter salamba sarvangazana Keep your gaze on the nose, hold for 10 breaths then slowly move your legs over the head Let the feet land on the mat to enter halasana again Keep your legs straight, stretch out the toes and hold for 10 breaths After 10 breaths, slowly lower your body onto the mat When you do salamba sarvangazana, if you feel pain in the neck or you have neck issues, use a blanket to put your shoulder on height so that the neck doesn’t touch the mat directly When you use a blanket, make sure that the shoulders are aligned with the edge of the blanket and make sure that the shoulders are not placed too forward or too backward If you have trouble putting the shoulders in and your elbows tend to move away from each other you can use a yoga belt to fix them in place Let’s now move onto headstand, sirsasana Headstand also, as the name suggests, is a pose where you use your head to make your body stand in inversion Like we did with shoulder stand, let’s use the wall to practice Sit facing a wall then hug your elbows You’ll keep this distance between the elbows when you perform headstand Interlock your fingers then place your hand as close to the wall as possible Find at the top your head, a slightly flat part Place that part between the wrists Use your toes to lift your legs and straighten your knees and legs Step by step walk your feet closer to the wall and once your back touches the wall kick your legs up against the wall If it’s difficult to kick up in the beginning you can find someone to assist you Once the backs of your feet find the wall, keep your buttocks on the wall and slowly straighten your legs up against the wall When you do headstand for the first time, you’re not used to being inverted With the feeling of blood going to your head, you could feel a bit in panic Just remember that it could happen, keep looking at one point Tell yourself to keep calm and relax as much as possible Bend your knees and find the wall with backs of your feet Slowly come down from the wall Put your head on the hands and rest for 10 breaths With headstand, start with holding for like 3 seconds then as you practice try to hold for 10 breaths Once you get used to being inverted and can hold for 10 breaths gradually practice away from the wall Lift your buttocks away from the wall then lift your leg off the wall one at a time Imagine that you’re opening your armpits as wide as you can, use the upper arms support your body and use your core to make your body straight Once you’re able to hold 10 breaths off the wall let’s practice without the wall Just like you did with the wall, interlock your fingers, put your head down First, practice kicking up and trying to balance with the knees bent Once you’re used to kicking up, keep your legs straight use your back muscle, core and arms to lift up your legs In the beginning, you can keep your gaze on one thing that’s not moving to balance Once you’re used to balancing, keep your gaze on your nose Start with holding for 10 breaths then gradually increase to 15 breaths Just like shoulder stand, with headstand, it’s also difficult to notice when your body is bent You can have someone watch you or take a video on your phoneし and if your body is bent, try to fix to make it straight When your arms and shoulders are not strong enough yet you might find the elbows moving away from each other in which case, use a yoga belt to fix the distance between the elbows I hope you enjoyed the video! Today, we practiced 2 poses from the finishing sequence of Ashtanga yoga Sarvangazana, shoulder stand and Sirsasana, headstand When you practice shoulder standとheadstand at home make sure to practice sun salutation A &B first to warm up your body If you found something difficult to understand in today’s video or you have questions after practicing the poses, please leave them in the comment section below See you next time!