Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Headstand on the Fingers :

Yogis on their Heads in the Early Modern Period

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  1. Thanks Jason Birch for sharing this: I shall give it a try !

    During your investigations, did you ever found any references of performing nadi sodhana while headstanding ? (using the tip of the tongue to close nostril from within). This happend to me therefore I am pretty sure it happended to others before.

    Best regards, thanks for your insightful and inspiring works.

  2. Dear Yogi Maheshwar,

    Thanks for your comment and we're glad you enjoyed the research. If you do master headstand on the fingers, be sure to let us know. We anticipate others will try as well (#headstandonthefingers).

    As for the alternate nostril breath in headstand, I have not come across any textual reference to this (other than an obscure reference to it perhaps being performed, as you describe, in baddhapadmāsana). Nonetheless, it may survive in oral traditions, but again, I haven't come across it in the field.

    With best wishes,


  3. Thanks for this very interesting article and bibliography. I was wondering - could the hands also act as a sort of barrier between the crown of the head and the „tainted“ ground? In some traditions, important objects are not supposed to touch the floor, but I don’t know if this is could also be valid in the case of the head.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Fran. We did consider at one stage that this variation might be useful for yogins who did not want their heads to touch the ground, perhaps, for reasons of cleanliness, purity, etc., or in situations where the ground was rocky. However, if such considerations were the case, yogins might easily have used a mat of some kind (and there's much evidence for yogins using mats. For examples, see our earlier article here: http://www.theluminescent.org/2016/04/the-religiosity-of-yoga-mat.html) for this purpose. Seeing that specific reasons for this variation of headstand are not stated in any source we've consulted, my comments here, as well as the possibility that it's a more difficult version of headstand for tapasvins, are somewhat speculative.