To transform the beginning shoulderstand into the classic shoulderstai I you will have to make the pose more dynamic, and for this there are foi r requirements. First, instead of swinging up with bent knees, press t • lower back against the floor, do a double leg left with straight knees (f 3.17), and lift your feet toward the ceiling (and only slightly overhead) us i the abdominal muscles. While coming up, don't press your hands agair 1 the floor any more than you have to. Second, once you're up, straighten t e body by pressing more insistently and with the hands higher on the ba k than in the beginning pose. Next, tighten the erector spinae and hip exit sors, creating a forward thrust in the pelvis that complements the efTor c from the hands. Finally, with the body supported in a straight line by I hands and the muscles of the trunk and hips, lean the sternum against tl chin (fig. 9.4b). If this is uncomfortable, adopt a more moderate hai 1 position for the time being. Alternatively, defer further work on the clas posture for several weeks and temporarily limit your efforts to the lift« I shoulderstand, which will be described later in this chapter. The resistan neck exercises listed under "Sequelae" will also be helpful.
9 THE \HOi:u>FJUTANO 509
When you have completed the posture, pressure from the entire body is pushing against the chin. The sternum presses the lower jaw against the upper jaw, and the neck and skull as a whole comprise a unit that cannot twist or budge in any direction. And since the whole body is stiff, it acts as a lever that exerts traction on the cervical vertebrae. You do get many important benefits by simply lifting up with the body slightly curved, but this does not elicit the intense energy associated with the classic shoulderstand.
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