World-record headstand set at Ashtanga Yoga Dubai, but…

You all have heard the stories of Guruji making the early Western (and I think even more specifically Californian/Hawaiian) students perform super long headstands, right? I’m sure I heard mention of hour-long ones. I also know I heard it was to counter the fleeting nature of our (Western/American) love — Guruji would be here, this person and that person would be a couple, while those two would be, plus those other two, and then he’d come back and everyone would be with someone else. So they needed some grounding.

Tim Miller tells it better than that, but hopefully you get the gist.

So, what I’m saying is I’m not so sure this new world record is one, but this story does note that no one had officially tried to set it before …

Ivan Stanley’s world was turned upside down on Sunday as he earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Indian expatriate performed this feat by spending 61 minutes in a headstand.

His world record bid was undertaken to celebrate the first International Yoga Day, which was marked on Sunday with events in 175 countries.

Mr Stanley, 41, has been practising yoga for 15 years.

Sirsasana [headstand’s Sanskrit name] is considered the king of allasanas [postures], and it is a constant challenge for practitioners,” he said. “As a long-time student of yoga, this attempt is part of my swadhyaya or self-study – a conscious decision to elevate myself well above my comfort zone.”

The advertising professional, who has lived in Dubai for 15 years, was thrilled to claim the first official headstand record.

It took place at Ashtanga Yoga Dubai, which has been around for a couple years now.

And I don’t really mean to begrudge the record; it sure does feel like the 61 minutes was because of those old “hour-long headstand” stories, though!

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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