Tips for yoga pose – HEADSTAND

Just because it’s easy, doesn’t always make it right.

When coming into headstand, it may be easier, tempting even to jump, spring or kick up, just so you can achieve the pose. You can put yourself into the pose this way and can gain enough balance in the air to hold it for a while, but you are missing vital steps along the way that are going to help you find more ease and comfort in the pose.
And that’s the point – to find more ease, comfort and space in your practice, and ultimately your life, not to just perform a series of fancy poses.
Jumping up before your shoulders, upper back and core muscles are strong enough puts unnecessary strain and tension on the neck and spine and increases risk of injury.

Strength, along with the flexibility needed comes from practice, patience and listening to and honouring your body.

Take the time, build your foundation of strength find your balance and focus your mind on how it feels rather than achieving.
Practice from a place of awareness and respect for your body, knowing that with a calm, uncompetitive and non judgemental mind you will progress safely, when your body is ready, into headstand.

Enjoy the process of learning, it’s no competition, there is no rush. Take the time to build your strength, balance, focus and control. The pose, or any variation of it, will be a lot more rewarding and beneficial when you enter it with control of your body and calmness in your mind.
Take the time to check in with yourself on any given headstand day and make sure you are coming from a place of true awareness, and listening to your body, rather than acting from the ego.

Helpful info –
Take each point step by step, as you build strength and balance. Be positive about where you are in your practice. Be patient and take it one day at a time.

-Elbows shoulder width apart will help your balance, give you more strength and protect your shoulders.
-Place your head down between the hairline and crown to protect the spine.
-Walk feet in until hips are over, or close to over the shoulders.
-Lift head to feel activation through shoulders, upper back and core, and then lower gently, keeping the activation so as not to collapse into the neck putting it at risk of injury.
-press down from elbows to pinkies, at the same time lifting the shoulders to create space in the neck.
-Engage core and use those muscles to lift your legs rather than momentum from kicking.
-press upwards with your feet and use inner thighs to draw legs together.
-steady gaze towards back of mat
-stay as long as feels good for you. This will be different ever day. Be present in your practice and move from a place of respect and awareness for your body. Come down whenever you need to.

-aim to come down with just as much control, balance and focus as you enter the pose.

If there is ever any pain at all in your neck, head or behind the eyes, come out of the pose immediately. Pain is never ok.

Headstand is a great pose, but there are many many great poses. Remember to take care of yourself first and that the point of yoga is not about achieving a certain pose.

It’s about connection, listening, compassion, mindfulness, awareness, love.

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