I posted this excellent video from David Garrigues yesterday which introduces his new King of Asana (sirsasana) downloadable video course. Mostly the course gives preparation for headstand employing several Primary series postures, it also looks at stabalizing your headstand. At one point in the course David looks at a padmasana variation but otherwise he doesn't look closely at all the different variations we see demonstrated in the video below.
David's new website https://www.davidgarrigues.com/
When I saw the above video yesterday I was reminded of all the variations that Krishnamacharya would practice and teach in Mysore in the 1930s back when Pattabhi Jois was his student, only a few of these variations were unfortunately carried over into Ashtanga series. However ,Krishnamacharya continued to teach them, to his long time student Srivatsa Ramaswami for example who taught them to us on the five week TT that I attended in 2010.
Note: the video below shows sarvangasana (shoulderstand), for Ramaswami ( and thus Krishnamacharya) Sarvangasana served as a preparation as well as a counter posture for sirsasana (headstand). A typical sequence would include some shoulderstand prep postures, soulderstand without variation 5 mins, shoulderstand with variations 5 mins, Headstand without variations 5 mins, headstand with variations 5 mins, shoulderstand as pratkriya (counterposture).
One of the tricky variations from Krishnamacharya's 1938 demonstration video
The sirsasana mandala found in the later Ashtanga series, not recommended due to the risk of neck injury.
Some Tutorials although I recommend David Garrigues king of Asana course. First a rare talkie followed by the headstand lead in from Vinyasa Krama.
see also perhaps
|Krishnamacharya t 84|
|Krishnamacharya at 50 in 1938 Mysore.|
|Link to Lulu.com|
Also available on Amazon but Lulu allow me to discount.
There's a kindle version with hyperlinks to the videos
but it only really works well on the Kindle Ipad app
where you can enlarge pictures easily,
the pictures are too small on the actual kindle.
In this two minute video, Yoga Synergy Director and physiotherapist, Simon Borg-Olivier demonstrates breathing around the spine in such way the expansion due to inhalation is first seen and felt in the lower back then the upper back, then the chest and finally the abdomen. Then the contraction due to exhalation begins in the lower back, then the upper back, then the chest and finally the abdomen. In this type of the breathing, which is best learnt from a seated or normal standing position, the inhalation up the back from the tailbone up the spine is quite subtle so it appears that the chest is being inflated first and the abdomen second. Similarly on exhalation up the back from the tailbone up the spine is quite subtle so it appears that the chest is being compressed first and the abdomen draws inwards second. In the final part of the video Simon holds his breath out and performs an expansive uddiyana bandha, which is an expansion of the chest and upper back like an attempt at inhaling into the chest with a relaxed abdomen but without actually inhaling. This is followed by an isolation of the rectus abdominis (nauli).
SPINAL CIRCULAR BREATHING:
This type of circular breathing around the spine has many benefits. Inhalation up the back of the body tractions the spine and brings blood to to inter-vertebral joints. Inhalation down the front of the body (i.e. breathing into the chest first) relieves prolapse of the internal organs, which can help to remove pressure of the intestines, reproductive organs and the bladder, as well as improve venous blood to the heart. Exhalation up the back of the can help to remove stale blood from the spinal veina (which have no one-way back flow valves like the veins in the limbs have) and strengthen the multifidus muscles that are so important to healthy spinal function. Exhalation down the front of the body helps to massage the internal organs as well as helps to slow the heart rate and calm the nervous system
Simply breathing into the chest has many benefits including relieving prolapse of the internal organs of the lower trunk, allowing the lungs to become fully inflated and also freeing the joints of the ribs, the upper back and the neck. However, most people tend to only get minimal benefits from breathing into the chest because they do it by first inhibiting the diaphragm by tensing the muscles of forced abdominal exhalation or the the anal constrictor muscles.
Exhaling using first upper transverse abdominis then lower abdominis fibres, as shown in the video, can also be very good for massaging the internal organs, mobilising the lumbar vertebrae to relieve lower back pain, and also assist in the secretion of hormones from the endocrine glands. Most people, however, can not isolate the upper and lower fibres of the transverse abdomens without also activating the oblique muscles of the abdomen that inhibit diaphragmatic function; the correct functioning of the reproductive system, immune system and digestive system; as well as the natural mobility of the lumbar spine.
If you wish to learn more please see our blog at http://blog.yogasynergy.com. Yoga Synergy also runs regular teaching training course with Simon Borg-Olivier and/or Bianca Machliss in Australia, India and elsewhere around the world (please see http://yogasynergy.com/training). We also run comprehensive and award winning online courses that are described below. These courses are great for anyone interested in yoga, exercise or health but they for anyone who wants ongoing yoga teacher training.