The Stav | What is Stav | Origin of Stav | Stav Philosophies | Weapon or Unarmed Training | Stav Stances | Stav and Asatru | Laug In Action or the Water of Life | Stav Haiku | Horse in Iron Age Society | The Stav Runes
The stances have many benefits, many of which are only revealed once the stances have been performed regularly over a period of time.
Two direct and almost immediate benefits can be obtained from the stances.
- The first is that they exercise the body gently and without pressure. They are very low impact exercises which can be performed no matter what your age or ability. The stances can be modified to compensate for injury and disability in order to gain the maximum benefit from them.
- The second is that they promote complete breathing using the whole of the lungs. This has shown to be beneficial to asthma and other respiratory ailment sufferers.
Regular practice of the stances brings other benefits including improved body posture, firmer stomach muscles and increased flexibility. Indeed those suffering from injury, stiffness in the joints and other restrictions to their movement can gain increased mobility and suppleness from performing the stances on a regular basis.
The stances can also be a form of moving meditation which is useful for relaxation and in relieving stress and tension.
No special equipment or clothing is required to perform the stances. It is recommended loose fitting clothing be worn and women may feel more comfortable wearing trousers.
Very little space is required in order to perform the stances. There must be sufficient room to turn unrestricted to the right and then the left and enough headroom to stretch your arms above your head.
The main requirement for the stances is that they are performed in an uninterupted and unhurried manner. This is to ensure that they receive your complete attention. At the simplest level the stances can be performed in about five minutes for each side so can easily be fitted into a busy shedule.
Positioning the Body: Performing the stances involves moving the body into set positions which mirror the shape of the runes. These movements are performed in a similar way to Tai Chi. The diagrams below are for the right hand stances observed from the east. Each stance is shown with its corresponding rune name.
The sequence of the stances is given below reading left to right, top to bottom, i.e. FE, UR, THOR, AS, REI, KREFT, HAGL, NOD, IS, AR, SOL, TYR, BJORK, MANN, LAUG and finish with YR. Both the right side and left side follow this sequence.