Raw, adjective: 9. disagreeably damp and chilly, as the weather or air: a raw, foggy day at the beach.

In case you hadn't heard, El Nino's been smacking California hard-core. We're all monsoons, all the time: trees down, streets flooded, power out. Weird for us, given that we get thunder and lightning maybe once a year.

(I realize there's no point in complaining, all ye frozen brethren in EST and CST. But still. It kind of sucks.)

So all of us NorCal pansies are hunkering down in our homes and trying to ride out the unfortunate winter weather. Fortunately for me, I've got some built-in anti-cabin-fever antidotes that require little more than a mat, a wall and some tunes.

Meet Headstand. You flirted with his saucy queen, Shoulderstand, a few years ago, and were flummoxed by her chill Yin benefits. Well, Headstand - or Salamba Sirsasana, the King of Asanas - is equally impressive, in a more energizing, Yang kind of way.

I won't even try to cover all the details. Go here for an excellent outline of Headstand's benefits. Let's just say that a number of experts argue that you could theoretically do only two poses every day - that would be Head and Shoulderstand, obvs - and still therein get the full benefits of a complete yoga practice. That's how damn all-over beneficial these asanas are.

(What's that? You're afraid? I was, too. Don't be. It's deceptively easy. Seriously - try it.)

The last few months, I've been making it a habit to roll home from class and haul my sweaty ass into Headstand after every practice. I tool up a new song - preferably 3-4 minutes long - kick my legs up, and zone out to the music while feeling the gravity-reversal rush fresh blood to my head. It's pretty much crack.

After awhile you'll crave it, and kick up into this not-as-difficult-as-it-looks asana whenever and wherever you can. I hung out in Sirsasana in a deserted corner of the Denver airport to get through a long layover over the holidays, and it turned the whole miserable flight-delay experience upside down. Bad pun intended.

Supported Headstand (Yoga Journal)


mabbott said…
I love Headstand! Sometimes I do it after I have been drinking...bad idea. The head rush "no es buena" following the imbibing of alcohol. That and I tend to fall out of it and into walls/furniture/people.

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