The recasting of this famous Shakespeare quote immediately came to mind while I was planning this week’s YOLY Challenge. Some yogis will admit that performing headstand and shoulderstand can be debatable. Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before you begin these lofty postures.
1.) What Is There To Consider?
“To be, or not to be” is about choosing life or death. Yes, this is fairly extreme but it was Hamlet’s dilemma within the play. Considering all of the consequences was imperative for him.
As you consider full inversions, please keep in mind that a deep understanding of the components of these postures is required. Headstand and shoulderstand should be approached step-by-step with guidance.
There is also an aspect of duality involved with inversions. Without the dual actions of lifting and grounding, maintaining the poses would not be possible. These two principles are essential to finding a comfortable and safe inverted posture.
2.) What is the Point?
I learned that a literary inversion is when you switch the position of words for a specific purpose; for instance, placing an adjective after the noun it qualifies e.g. the soldier strong. In this case, the inversion in prose is to help the writer change the reader’s focus on a particular point. Shakespeare does this – a lot.
And, yoga inversions certainly change your focus. Being upside down, even for a relatively short period, clears your perspective and creates a sense of calmness.
Another point to note is that re-positioning yourself through inversions improves the flow of blood, lymph and oxygen throughout the body. This has a tremendous effect on the body as a whole.
3.) Can You Wear the Crown?
Hamlet’s soliloquy is all about deciding to do one thing over another. So, what is the right choice, do we invert? Headstand and shoulderstand are known as the kings and queens of yoga. And for good reason, they are truly remarkable poses. That being the case, why shouldn’t we all be doing them?
Because royalty sets high standards. A heavy crown requires the appropriate strength, correct alignment and lots of guidance and preparation. Performing these pinnacle postures may not be accessible for all – at least not right away.
Do the right thing, prepare for the crown. In the end, abiding in wisdom is the most noble path.
4.) Want To Go Deeper?
Just for fun, I googled Shakespeare & Yoga.
Amazingly enough, I found this book!