Headstand, yoga

How to Do A Headstand

My love for and journey into yoga was primarily sparked by Instagram.   I started following so many yoga accounts to keep myself inspired to practice and learn more.

What really intrigued me most at first (besides splits) was nailing Headstand.  Ahh the illusive headstand.

I think as a child I played around with doing headstands but never really held one or knew how to properly do so.

To my surprise, I found headstand to be relatively easy.  Of course it got easier over time as I realized what worked best for me and was better for my body.

With that said, if you do try this- please consult with a doctor or try at your own risk.  I personally have never had any serious injury while attempting to do headstand, but that doesn’t mean others haven’t.There are two main headstands that people usually do in yoga.  One is a Tripod headstand and the other is a supported headstand.

Supported Headstand

This headstand came the easiest to be, and it bears less weight on your actual head so I found it a bit more comfortable.

Until you feel comfortable, I would practice against a wall or in front of the couch.

First, come to your hands and knees- to tabletop if you will. Placing your forearms down on the ground, interlacing your fingers.

Bring the top of your head down to wrap your hands around.

Get your toes and ready to support the legs, lifting the knees and straightening the legs (kind of like dolphin pose but with your head on the ground)

Walk the feet in as close as you can, lifting one leg and the other follows.

Keeping the core tight and the legs long and high.  Most of the weight should actually be in the arms around your head and not so much on the head.

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Tripod Headstand

Tripod headstand starts similar, in table top or on your hands and knees.

Instead of bringing the forearms in place, you keep the hands in place on the ground.

The head comes down to the ground, butt lifts as you walk the feet in as close as you can.

You can try lifting the legs a few ways: one at a time straight up from the ground, bringing one or both tucked into the chest then up, or I’ve seen some people balance them on the back on the arms then lifting one or both together.

Once the legs are up, keeping the core strong to help hold the balance.

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A few tips or things to keep in mind:

See how you Feel upside down

Flip your head upside down in a forward fold or dangle it off the bed or couch first to see how you feel, some people may have ear problems that cause them to get dizzy.  Definitely see how you feel upside down before bearing weigh on your arms or head.

Try different variations

You may find one version easier than the other. Tripod was actually harder for me than a supported headstand and bears more weight on your head (which I don’t like).  But some find it easier, so try those two options and see which is best for you.

It’s Going to Feel Weird

At first it may feel very weird and you may feel pressure from the blood rushing to your head, this gets better with practice.  It doesn’t even bother me now, I feel like I could probably stay in a headstand for a good 10 minutes and not be bothered. (not that I would recommend or even want to do that)

Practice Against a Wall

Practice with your back against the wall or in front of a bed/couch, if you fall either the wall or bed/couch will catch you instead of the floor.

Don’t be afraid to fall

That’s one thing I’ve learned with yoga is learning to fall. There are several ways to safely fall out of a headstand if you feel your self losing the balance.  Somersaulting forward or letting your feet catch you on the floor is better than your back slamming on the ground.

Here are videos of both versions of the headstand that I used to help me learn:

Hopefully that helps!  Just be safe and listen to your body, if it’s painful don’t do it.  With time and practice you’ll nail it in no time!

New to Yoga or my Blog?  You may enjoy these posts:
30 minute Yoga Yorkouts to Start your Day
15 yoga workouts under 15 minutes
How to Create and At Home Practice
How to Motivate Yourself to Workout Consistently
How to Do Crow Pose

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How to do a headstand when you are new to yoga

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