Why would you even do that? she asks as I demonstrate the pose in the spacious confines of her consulting room.
It’s known as the king of the Asanas, I say.
But it’s a headstand! she scoffs.
No, I say, calm breathing and meditation is involved too. It stimulates the mind and body.
And how long do you hold it for?
Up to eight minutes, I say.
She looks alarmed.
We’ll see what the cardiologist says,she replies.
A few days later I’m in his office.
Can you show me? he says.
So I do. The polished floorboards are a little hard on the hands and head so I do a shortened version.
Well, what do you think? I ask.
It just looks wrong, he says. No, you can’t do it after the operation. We can do a modified version.
He instructs me to lie on the floor, put my legs up in the air, stiff and hold.
I show my daughter.
She calls the pose, ‘The Dying Cockroach.’
I’m not happy with it but I bite the bullet.
However, every now and then on a dark and stormy night when no one is watching, a little devil gets inside me and i flip onto my head and swing into the Shirshasana.
Eight minutes of bliss.
- pic courtesy of Jennifer Pentland