Please meet Ernesto Gutierrez. He is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. He has a strong yoga practice and was generous in sharing it with us, as he demonstrates Headstand Pose (Sirsasana).
Mind Body Flow Yoga’s Very Own Ernesto Gutierrez and His Life-Changing Experience with Yoga
I started practicing yoga 3 years ago. My journey into yoga was set into motion by a series of life changing events. After college and two kids later, I was overweight and out of shape and somehow had managed to get the title of “The donut king,” at work.
My life started changing when someone organized a weight loss contest at work. The weight loss contest woke me up again and I managed to lose the weight and actually win the contest. Losing the weight was the stepping stone to a more active life. I started running and joined a local running club (Checkers AC). The running was a great way to stay in shape and maintain the weight loss, but unfortunately, brought on a series of chronic injuries.
I went to see a podiatrist and he suggested that I stretch more. In my mind, I related stretching to yoga classes at my gym. There, I found a couple of very caring and inspiring teachers that helped me overcome my fear of yoga. I thought that yoga was not for me and had the typical excuses for not doing yoga: not flexible enough, not challenging enough for a man. Oh, I was so wrong! Yoga practice has improved my flexibility and physical and mental strength. Yoga has improved my running ability and I have now completed at least 10 half-marathons without injuries. Now, I cross train, run, bike, and swim. Yoga is a great way to avoid injury, due to increased flexibility and core strength and I can no longer imagine an active lifestyle without yoga in it.
As my yoga confidence improved, one of the teachers at my gym suggested that I move on to doing yoga at a studio and that is how I landed at Mind Body Flow Yoga. Wow, the transition from the gym to a yoga studio was amazing! Doing yoga in the hot studio (90 degF) loosened up my body. I became even more flexible and started to stretch muscles I didn’t even know about before.
One of the happiest days of my yoga journey was when I was finally able to do a headstand. This is why I chose this pose as my featured pose. I am still working on my handstand, and hope to share it with you some day.
I am so glad and feel privileged that Marina asked me to share my yoga journey with you. Yoga has changed my life and I try to share it with others every opportunity I get.
Leave a comment below. What stood out to you in the testimonial? What significant experience have you had in your yoga journey?
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you decide to try this pose, or if you have already started to experiment with it.
Tips for Headstand Pose (Sirsasana)
- Stand in Tadasana. From Tadasana, squat down and place your palms on the floor and bend your knees, keeping your feet and knees slightly wider than hip-width distance. Spread your fingers wide.
- Look forward toward your finger tips and bring your knees to rest as high as possible on your upper-arm bones (into the armpits, if possible).
- Rest the crown of your head on the floor. Your elbows are bent to a 90 degree angle tracking back. Make sure you can see your thumbs and elbows.
- Bring your flexed feet together to touch. If possible, lift your knees off of your upper-arm bones. Squeeze your feet, knees, and thighs together. Slowly pike your feet and legs up towards the sky, until hips stack over shoulders.
- Stay in the pose for 5 – 10 breaths.
- Slowly lower your legs and feet down to the ground and come to rest in child’s pose for 3-5 breaths.
- Relieves stress
- Increases focus
- Increases blood flow to the head and scalp
- Improves blood flow to the eyes
- Strengthens shoulders and arms
- Improves digestion
- Helps to flush out the adrenal glands
- Decreases fluid build-up in the legs, ankles, and feet
- If you have a back or neck injury, high or low blood pressure, and/or heart conditions, you should refrain from practicing headstand.
How has your yoga practice changed your life? What initially held you back?