I appreciate the replies! It doesn't sound like anyone else experiences this. Hmmm. Shrlzi, you are right, "required" was not my best choice of words. Headstands are part of the closing in Ashtanga, but nobody is "required" to do any posture, ever. The headstand itself is reasonably comfortable, it's just the odd sensation afterward that has me puzzled. DennetJ, I was taught in Ashtanga to always rest in child's pose after headstand, and the health consequences of skipping child's pose could be dire. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) insisted on it. It is a pretty natural transition from the "dismount" to headstand--the legs come to the floor and curl up beneath the torso, but I will think about something more intermediate. CarolJean, I've seen those forearm balances, like headstands without the head--I think in second or third series, right? Maybe I'll convert to doing it that way. (I can't substitute a handstand in Ashtanga class, even if my body would let me--traditionalist teacher!) I shudder to think that i could be messing up my neck or spine. I asked my teacher & he had never heard of this, but he seemed concerned, too. Maybe I should check it out with an osteopath or a chiropractor. Hmmm. Thanks again for the replies. Namaste!
There are several poses that can help your body prepare for headstand.... I am not there yet although I can reach the pose with help. Doing plank and holding it can help increase your arm strength. Crow pose can help you get the feeling of balancing and supporting yourself on your hands. In fact I am working towards a controlled approach to headstand by increasing the straightness of my arms in crow with the idea of eventually removing my knees from my arms and moving them slowly into the air.
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I recently completed my second 200 hour yoga teacher training. The teacher strongly recommended against headstands and encouraged developing the strength to do handstands. He said many yogis who have done headstands for years are admitting that they have had or continue to have skeletal problems.
1. There is no "required" sequence of poses -- at most, recommended by a specific teacher. Much healthy diagreement among schools of yoga and among individual teachers about sequencing.
2. A relationship with a teacher is very important in yoga -- if you don't already have a teacher, seek out a local qualified teacher and sign up for a class. Go early, and explain your issue and ask for advice. S/he may be able to address it during the class; if not, ask if you can sign up for a private session. If you do a private, you will come away with a lot more than an answer to your rib pain issue, I feel sure!
Over the past few months I've developed a peculiar sensation in my chest when I take the required child's pose after headstand. It feels like my ribs are trying to spread apart. There's no neck pain, spinal pain, or head pain, just the splitting sensation in my ribs, and only after headstand. Anyone else ever feel this? Does it sound dangerous? Thanks! DPV
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