The world needs more headstands

My friends and I are walking across the snow-covered Richmond Green. It’s been snowing for two days. The picturesque green grassland has received a fluffy coat of white snow. The only green areas are snowman footprints – tracks left behind where snowballs have been rolled along the snowy patches to make a snowman, exposing the usual green surface.

We have just practiced 90 sweaty minutes of Bikram Yoga in a heated studio. Since my friends are visiting from Finland, we’re on our way to a pub for some traditional British rehydration, perhaps a bit of lunch.  Somehow this large open area invaded by these peculiar snow creations with dazzling smiles and grumpy frowns cries out for more silliness. Richmond’s cricket players will have to wait for warmer temperatures to reclaim their venue. It is headstand time!

Headstand, or Sirsasana in Sanskrit, is often referred to as the king of yoga poses. Our comical attempts at headstand are a far cry from the dignity of any member of the royal family. Wearing heavy parkas, hats, gloves and jeans, we plug the crown of our head onto the ground and snuggle the backs of our soft beanies against our clasped hands. Little by little in this inverted position, we clumsily walk our feet closer to our elbows and try to connect to the deep core muscles with the intention of lifting our heavy boots up towards the open sky. We roll over a few times, laughing hysterically. What a pair of awkward jesters we are, unintentionally entertaining people walking past with their children and dogs. There’s definitely a certain happiness in being silly and ridiculous!

Suddenly, we are looking at the surroundings of Richmond Green upside down. Pressing down strongly into the forearms, my legs are finally straight and I am maintaining my balance. Shakily at first, progressively growing in confidence, as little adjustments don’t make me tumble down. A whole new perspective! It’s such a rush, I almost forget to breathe. It’s only a minute or so, but going upside down puts a smile on our faces. As one of my friends commented on the photo of us trying to do headstands on Richmond Green: “The world needs more headstands”.

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