ALEX CUTINI IS THE MAN ON THE MAT
CHIN STAND (GANDA BHERUDASANA)
- Improves balance.
- Strengthens and tones back muscles
- Stretches and elongates the front body.
- Improves back flexibility.
- Neck compression: do not press your chin too much on the ground. There should be little to no weight on the chin.
- Wobbly legs: keep legs active. Activate your quads and squeeze inner thighs together to avoid moving your low body and destabilising your low back.
- To feel safer and build the muscle memory needed to safely and confidently enter this posture, you can place blocks underneath your shoulders. This will help you feel more supported and make it easier to engage your back muscles to lift the legs, bend the back and release the front body.
- In addition to having blocks underneath your shoulders, you can practice against a wall. Use the wall as a training wheel, not a crutch. You want to notice how powerfully you must kick with the legs without toppling over as opposed to always kicking with too much force knowing the wall will catch you.
Chin stand is an advanced posture that may take several months or years to build. Let this posture be a vehicle through which you can learn discipline, patience, and equanimity. Notice the frustration of trying and falling but, at the same time, have the determination to pick yourself up and try again each time. Observe the process from the seat of awareness and talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend. When you get tired, learn to rest, not quit. Acknowledge that if you quit, you will be removing the only thing that can get you to the end goal: daily, consistent practice. Much like a child learning to walk, you never see a child say: "Well, I guess walking is just not for me." Have that same amount of faith in yourself, practice every day, and never give up.
Alex Cutini is a yoga teacher from Salt Lake City, Utah, and teaches at CorePower Yoga Salt Lake City. He is also the host of ‘Openhearted with Alex Cutini’ a podcast about productivity, personal enrichment, self-reflection, and authenticity. Connect via Instagram: @alexcutini