So I went to the Iyengar site in NY to see what types of classes they have. There are four levels and they are mostly ranked by how long you can hold sirsasana (head stand). If you can hold it for 5 minutes, you are level III, if you can hold it for 10, you are level IV.
So how long exactly can I hold it? I wondered.
I was under the impression that 10 minutes would be no issue… well, it was. I can barely hold it for four minutes it turns out. I will have to work it up to 5! if I want to take the level III one.
Iyengar is pretty specific about holding the headstand for a looooooong time, and I have noticed that we ashtangis tend to dismiss the enjoyment of being upside down for long. I have noticed in my shala only a few adventurers who stay there for a while. I have to admit sometimes I try, but sometimes my head hurts.
During head stands, as a health benefit, the lymphatic system is aided by the reverse gravity, but this does not really kick in (or so a teacher told me), until minute number 5!
How long do you hold sirsasana for? and I mean before you get the legs down at the 45 degree angle (as in picture which, by the way, is me… only you cannot ever find my head under that red sweater)