Headstand?

I don’t have too many memories before age five, but sometime in the mid-70’s, I remember my Granny standing on her head. She would’ve been in her mid-sixties. She was a feisty one, my Granny. One of my favorite stories is the time the neighbor boy squirted her with a water hose. The details are a little fuzzy, I think she was dressed up and headed somewhere important. Anyway, she nursed her grudge and waited out her revenge. One day when he was all dressed up for church (or was it the prom?), my Granny had her water hose ready and soaked him down.

When Granny stood on her head with my sister Liz and me, I seem to recall her crashing down. I texted Liz about it recently: “Do you remember? Did she hurt herself?” In my blurry memory, Granny broke her toe.  

Liz confirmed the head stand and speculated on a melodramatic, “Ouch!” I could see where a five-year old might equate that reaction to a broken toe. Maybe Granny even shouted, “I think I broke my toe.”

For the next ten years or so, I stood on my head. And for a couple of years in the last ten or so, I picked it up again in my yoga class. I haven’t practiced in a while, but I do remember some benefits—you know, the type of benefits a person forgets and must Google and the type that might motivate a person to just do it.

The Alternative Daily lists 11 Reasons to Stand on Your Head.

  1. Increases Your Focus
  2. Reduces Stress
  3. Strengthens Shoulders and Upper Arms
  4. Helps with Fluid Retention
  5. Develops Core Strength
  6. Gives You a Free Facelift
  7. Improves Your Circulation
  8. Improves Digestion
  9. It’ll Make You Happy
  10. It’s Empowering
  11. Impress Your Friends

On my first attempt in years, I started with a pillow and hands flat on the floor, placed the top of my head on the pillow and my knees atop my elbows. Since I was in the middle of the floor, I held the pose for about ten seconds without extending my legs. This was before I Googled benefits. Based on what I read about fluid retention and core strength, I moved my pillow next to a wall beside the couch. With the top of my head on the pillow, I walked my feet up the side of the couch and allowed my heels to rest on the wall. I counted to ten and then used the couch to assist in returning my feet to the ground. I might add that I felt empowered and focused, happy and not a bit stressed.

On another day, I Googled—proper headstand. YogiApproved.com listed more benefits such as stimulation of the pineal gland, hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which causes the other endocrine glands to coordinate and function better—as well as improved condition of the brain, eyes, and ears by the increased blood pressure. This website recommended not practicing against the wall lest you use the wrong muscles.

And so I set out to stand on my head properly. This time I laid down my neglected yoga mat. As recommended, I brought my hands together and interlaced my fingers, “making a basket,” with forearms flat on the floor in a triangle shape. Then I placed my head on the floor with the back of my head in my cupped hands. Here, I departed from the steps listed by YogiApproved.Com and used my ottoman to help lift first one leg and then the other into a perpendicular position. And you know what? I am stronger than I realized and maybe a little feisty like my Granny.   

I appreciate you for reading my A-Z Challenge post today. After a year at home, I wanted to mix it all up a bit and thought you my like a few suggestions. This April, I’m sticking to a theme of action: mental, physical, and spiritual, things I might already do or haven’t attempted in years or maybe never. You know what else I’m doing this month? Click here to see: AbstainBalletCartwheelDevoteEncourage, Forgive, Google.

40 thoughts on “Headstand?

    1. I get it. That’s why I’m using the ottoman. I trust myself at least to fall forward in that direction. I’m sure you can find your balance in another way, Jonathan. Thanks for reading.

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  1. I’m enamored with the memory of you and Granny, she sounds like a hoot! Okay, not joining you in the headstand physically, but I’m there for you if you should fall! Love your moxie Crystal, C

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl! And funny you should say “hoot.” One of the things she left me was a gold rope chain necklace with an oversized owl pendant with rhinestone eyes. I still wear it when I want to conjure Granny’s spirit.

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  2. Not I, said the Little Red Hen. However, I do like to “hang” upside down from my hips and place flat palms on the floor. That really feels good, for some reason. You know, the blood flow, free face-lift!

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  3. What this proves, Crystal, is that your circumstances – your optimism and your derring-do – are genetic No doubt, someone (and most likely, many more than one of them). told your grandmother that women like her don’t do things like handstands. Leave that to the grandchildren.

    Fortunately, your grandmother didn’t listen to “them,” and you show a similar disregard for pronouns. Her spirit thrives, as we speak (type).

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  4. Your Granny sounds like she was a fantastic woman. I think I might have to build up to headstands, I’d like to be able to do them again – seemed so easy when I was a kid, but seems so hard now.

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      1. I have a shoulder injury at the moment, but when it’s improved I definitely want to give this a try. I will need to surround myself with all things soft and start very slowly and cautiously😅 (I’m dyspraxic and hypermobile). Thanks so much for your advice 🤗

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