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Enlightened Asana Workshop series I : Head balance (Sirsasana) and Shoulder balance (Sarvangasana) cycles

  • Clifton Library 13 Princess Victoria Street Bristol, England, BS8 4BX United Kingdom (map)

Enlightened Asana Workshop: Head balance (Sirsasana) & Shoulder balance (Savangasana) cycles.
Sunday 20th May / 9.30am - 12.30pm
Clifton Library, 13 Princess Victoria Street, Bristol, BS84BX

Enlightened Asana Series - three hour workshops to delve deeper into our practice... 

Head balance (Sirsasana) in the classical texts is often refereed to as the king of asanas. It was recommended as a daily practice to help keep the body healthy, full of vitality and youthful. On a biochemical level, some benefits of an inverted body include bringing more fresh blood to the brain, relief to the heart muscles as a natural gravitational force draws the blood out of the legs, and relief for the veins. It's a practice that brings great benefit to the whole body system.

If our asana time is limited head balance, together with shoulder balance (Savangasana), should take priority over other postures.

Head balance may look 'spectacular' but it is one of the easier postures - it is Tadasana standing on ones head. However many people do this posture with too much muscular effort because they are out of alignment with gravity. They simple 'get up at any cost' and then it becomes a question of purely physical strength rather than grace, finesse and ease. If the skeleton is aligned in the correct way, the posture becomes light and effortless. Our body has several secret weapons to utilise during such practices of which we will uncover during the morning session.

Over the past few years I have had to rebuild my head balance. Because the posture is so simple there is little room for error if one wishes to practice this posture competently and regularly. Establishing the correct foundation and building the head balance with precision will keep the body balanced. The base needs to be perfect.

"I was first taught this practice by holding on to the elbows with the opposite hands to establish the placement of the elbows and forearms. This is OK once or twice but as I found out the body will never be equal, never balanced with this method - the shoulders will always be uneven and 5, 10 years down the line you have created an imbalance in the body which is difficult to correct - you will not have a completely systematical base. If we move on to Sirsasana variations, any imbalance becomes more apparent."

In this workshop we will look at the correct anatomical application of this asana, breaking it down into various phases and constructing it from the earth upwards. Whether we come into the full pose or not doesn't matter. What you'll take away is an established base to build on in a supported environment. For those that wish to we will also look at some Sirsasana variations. We'll then work through a series of asanas to complete the head balance cycle, postures designed to release body tensions after such a practices.

Shoulder balance cycle should follow head balance cycle. However, head balance shouldn't really be attempted until a competent shoulder balance practice has been established. We will look through different approaches to shoulder balance using props and different set ups as it's again a posture that is often misinterpreted and turned into a neck balance - this is not good for the body. For those that wish too we will also work through several variations and follow on practices to complete the Savangasana cycle.

Alongside the technical application of the asanas, we will once again focus on key principles, concepts, breathing methods and more to experience the practice from a fresh perspective.

This workshop is open to anyone who wishes to construct a correct foundation for these asanas, for those that may need to rebuild their asanas, and for those that have a correct practice and wish to deepen their understanding of the postures as well as exploring variations.

Suitable for all levels (except for complete beginners).
Not suitable for anyone with high/low blood pressure, weak eye capillaries, detached retina, or any injury to and/or arthritis in the neck. Suitable for all levels (except for complete beginners).

Teacher: Rory Viggers

"My primary study of hatha yoga and movement revolves around the Centered Yoga system developed by the pioneering and world renowned teacher Dona Holleman. Having studied with Dona for the past three years, her philosophy, teaching methods, asana technique and application, and knowledge of the physical and subtle bodies form the inspiration of these workshops".

Yoga mats and equipment will be provided (feel free to bring your own mat).

Cost: (£25 - early bird) £30
Yogakutir members can use two class card credits (90 mins) towards a workshop - please enquire here.
10% discount available for students and concessions - please enquire here.

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"Rory is one of the best teachers in Bristol, by regularly attending his classes I have been able to achieve a moving meditative experience that has inspired me to continue to grow and develop my own practise. Rory is committed to continually develop and share a depth of knowledge that continues to inspire. Thank you"

"Following a move to Clifton I joined classes following a recommendation from a friend who regularly attended Yogakutir, which speaks volumes in itself and it certainly did not disappoint. I was looking for more than just a regular yoga practice and this has been expertly delivered and further enhanced after attending focused workshops with Rory & a retreat with Dory over the last year. The years of experience & knowledge both share during each practice provided the therapy I needed - as of course yoga is far more than postures on a mat.  Yogakutir has actually changed my life and I very much look forward to continuing my journey in the coming years with their guidance & support - and they are both so lovely with it too"

"My Tuesday early morning yoga class with Rory is the highlight of my week. Its a fantastic way to start my day. I've learnt not just yoga practices but breathing techniques. Each week is different and I can't recommend the class enough."

"I love Rory's no-nonsense, gentle approach and I always leave feeling peaceful and energised at the same time."

"Rory's class on a Sunday evening is my anchor point for each week. The asanas are challenging and the relaxation is incredible. I look forward to the class immensely and feel the benefit all week - the best thing I do for me!"

"I enjoy Rory’s classes so much that if I had to move out of the area, I would find a way to get back to Clifton at least once a week."

"Rory's yoga classes are excellent. I really appreciate the variation in sequences from class to class, and Rory's attention to detail and ability to describe poses and movements. Rory, you are an inspiring yoga teacher!"

"I try to get to Rory's class every week. The practice is different each time, and I like the way he breaks things down to help with a physical understanding of the postures."

"Thank you for some wonderful classes, I feel I learn something new each time I'm at class. This is prob the most technical yoga I've done and I'm really enjoying it."