Sunday, 17 November 2013

Review: Feetup headstand prop, hmmmmmmmm


I  often get asked to review things on this blog, there was the underwear for men that makes your bottom looks... fuller, plumper? I don't know actually, never really understood the concept, or whether to feel flattered or offended at being asked, I passed on that one.

Books of course and if it seems relevant to the blog, my own interests or something I suspect readers of the blog might be interested in I'll say yes. Melanie Cooper's book for example that I reviewed last week.

I seem to be getting a more of these start up projects lately, the most recent being to promote a book project to raise $20,000 to publish a book on a series of emails between two friends, the email's however have already been written! Perhaps I'm missing something. Supposedly they want to raise the money to format the book and tidy it up the for publication and perhaps make an audio version. I don't get it self publishing is free or a couple of hundred if you your ego wants something glossier and musicians have been using garageband to produce whole albums, an audio book is easy there's even a podcast button.  I didn't like the reference to 'their careers as spiritual teachers' so passed on that one too.

Yoga Documentaries I'm more happy to support, this one for example looks interesting, a Yoga Documentary called Part and Parcel, BNS Iyengar is in it and they are seeking funds for post production.

http://www.pinknamaste.com/Part&ParcelDocumentary.html

I mention all this because in this instance I actually got in contact with Yogamatters and asked them if they would like me to review their Feetup headstand stool.


I'd seen an interesting review of the product by Genny Wilkinson-Priest (http://www.healthista.com/body/think-you-cant-do-a-headstand/)

"The new Feet Up is aimed at yogis who cannot lift into a headstand or hold one by themselves. But it looks like a grown-up’s potty and my 3-year old kept dragging it into the bathroom"

I wondered if it might actually help students of Vinyasa Krama yoga who struggle with headstand.

Krishnamacharya stressed to Ramaswami the importance of headstand and in Vinyasa krama we have myriad movement while inverted, still, I wanted to try it first before suggesting it, before recommending it.

It arrived ready made up in a huge box and without instructions, just a postcard. Now that might be because I was just reviewing in, if you were buying it new then perhaps it would arrive differently. Just heard that it arrives as a flatpack and you put it together, it looks a little Ikea actually, easy to put together I'm sure. Mine is probably a demo version from The Yoga show. I had it delivered to work and had to bring it home on the bike, tricky.


UPDATE
Took 5-10 minutes to disassemble, easy



Turns out there is a nice manual booklet on Yogamatters website
http://www.yogamatters.com/cmscontent/documents/Files/feetup_booklet.pdf



First thing, it IS sturdy, well made, really don't think it's going to break on you although I do wonder, worry about what happens if you tip over to the side with your head stuck down the hole, have there been tests? Ouch.
german site http://www.feetup.de/startseite.html

I'm seriously worried about that actually, strikes me you could break your neck. Happy to be reassured on this.


I have to say I hated it the first time I tried it, I didn't like the feeling of the blood rushing to my head, my wife tried it too and thought she was going to get a nosebleed. I didn't like the way it was pressing down into the shoulders or rather my shoulders down into it, perhaps you get used to it. I tried it for a week and still haven't gotten used to it

So I  stuck with it all week, trying it everyday and I have to say I still don't like it, still can't get on with it. Perhaps in regular headstand having the arms at the same level as the head it affects the blood flow differently, equalises it somehow. I spend forty minutes in headstands sometimes, doing the full Vinyasa krama Inverted sequence and never get a headache. In the feet up it's just your head sticking down below perhaps that's why I get that feeling that my head is about to explode that I don't find with regular headstands.

I managed to practice some of the vinyasa krama movements in it, the arms were in the way but then you can also hold onto the legs which would move your elbows out of the way. Here's a short vinyasa Krama Inversions practice on the feetup.


Still, many seem to love it, there is a popular feet up Facebook page with people posting pictures of their feet up all over the place, saw one up the side of a mountain.



Putting personal feelings to one side, does it work?

I actually do think it is something every studio, and why not every teacher, should have or at least could use. It is easier to get up into headstand and I imagine if you've never been able to get into headstand then you probably would in no time with the feetup stool. So for the teacher you might be able to build confidence in your student and then after a few times move them on to regular headstands. It could bring about the breakthrough.

At £99.00 it's expensive, can't recommend anyone parts with that kind of money for home use when my own feeling is that you only use it in the beginning to gain confidence to actually get up into headstand and then wean yourself off it. Find a teacher, a school that has one and go there for a couple of weeks.

So apologies to Yogamatters but thank you for letting me try it, personally it's not for me and I'll be sticking with regular headstands...
but that doesn't mean it might not suit somebody else. I strongly recommend you try it for yourself before buying, and you might love it.

here's the link to the feet up page on Yogamatters website
http://www.yogamatters.com/product/717/prfeet/feetup-headstand-yoga-stool.html

Oh I did find another use for it...


See the latest Chakra bandhasana in a month challenge update post


this too perhaps


UPDATE
just found this feet up workshop video on Youtube

http://youtu.be/QgaiKGGpV5c

 And this one which scared the hell out of me from The Yoga Show

  

12 comments:

  1. I too have never really liked the look of it. Locking the head in like that makes me worry about someone falling in the wrong direction. What ever happened to patience in developing practice? Too many people want everything now, I see it every week in my studio - people wanting to get straight into headstand because others are capable, even though they are unable to practice the appropriate preparation poses. Human nature i guess - the quick fix.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Blogger keeps dropping the German workshop video I was trying to post at the end, here's the link
    http://youtu.be/QgaiKGGpV5c

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmmm. Just roll out a mat and practice. It's funny watching us constantly come up with a new piece of yoga equipment, or better yet, a yoga style - yoga noir, anti-gravity yoga, or my favourite DOGA! Think i'll stick to ashtanga thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you have to remind me of DOGA, had managed to block it out of my consciousness : )

      Delete
  4. I dunno, some props can be helpful - e.g. Block under the bum for forward bends, bolster for a nice relaxing chest opener. Not sure I'd drop a hundred quid on this though. Headstand is hard to start with, and some of it is physical (shoulders, core) but I think it's mostly psychological - my main thing was getting over the fear of falling over. I think falling out of that thing might be more scary. The other thing is working out which way you're moving when you're upside down - not sure how this would help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people on it fb site friends of feetup, seem to absolutely love it, think perhaps I'm missing something or just too set in my ways.

      Delete
  5. I don't know about the headstand contraption, but thanks for sharing information on Part & Parcel documentary. I am shure you will find it interesting, will try to send you a copy when finished. All the best!.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diego. That would be great, would do a review on it. You've made me want to visit BNS Iyengar and practice in that room.

      Delete
  6. FYI, I love this headstander. I've had it for about a year, use it all the time (dealing with myofascial pain that impacts tension in my shoulders so active headstand can cause serious muscle spasms for me. I need traction). I actually paid for it - and including delivery to Canada it cost a fortune. Re: not loving the way it feels, I recommend you put a wooden block (of the appropriate height so as not to compress your neck) under your head. It totally changes the nature of the pose. Headstand benefits from the neuromuscular benefit of the head being supported by the ground. That's the thing with headstanders, they don't account for that...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I actually love it too - I have some scoliosis issues affecting my neck - and a proper headstand compresses my neck causing major spasms and issues - for over 10 years of practicing I completely avoided the posture. but on the flip side inversions with traction are the absolute best thing possible to help ease pressure and gradually re-align my spine. I've made a huge amount of progress with it - to the point that my physio's are asking me how I did it! Until I found this prop I was spending most of my time hanging upside down on monkey bars as my "inversion practice" But to work on strength, while in an inversion, while having traction in the neck - is the ultimate.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry you didn't like it! Can I have it? I would be very happy to pay for shipping !!
    I have osteoporosis in the bones of my neck, and if I attempted a real headstand I might just crack something. Probably not a good idea, but with this thing I could get upside down anyway.
    If you have already made a bonfire of it: Would you know where I can buy one in the US? I searched the web, but only found European sources.
    Best
    Ingrid

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think the main advantage to using a prop like this is to eliminate any pressure on the cervical spine. For me it's not about getting into headstand faster or more easily, it's about creating length in the neck which helps with a compressed nerve. Love it!

    ReplyDelete

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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