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THE CROW (KAKASANA)

King of asanas, the Headstand or Sirshasana is one of the most powerfully beneficial postures for both, mind and body. By reversing the normal effects of gravity, it rests the heart, aids the circulation, and relieves pressure on the lower back. Practiced regularly, it helps in preventing back problems and improve memory, concentration, and the sensory faculties. Inverting the body also makes you breathe deeply, bringing a fresh supply of oxygen-rich blood to the brain - any slight breathing difficulty you experience at first will quickly pass. Mastering the Headstand requires no great strength. It is largely a matter of conquering your fears and believing you can do it. The key to balance is the tripod formed by elbows and hands - make sure your elbows don't shift out of position.

Caution: People with high blood pressure glaucoma or a detached retina should refrain from attempting the headstand.

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1. Squat down and bring your arms between your knees. Place your palms down flat on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart, with fingers splayed and pointing slightly inward. Then bend your elbows out to the sides, making the backs of your arms into shelves for your knees to rest on. 2. Choose a point on the floor in front of you on which to focus. Inhale, then while you retain the breath, lean toward this point, transferring your weight to your hands and lifting your toes up. Exhale and hold the pose for three or four deep breaths.
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