How to Headstand: Steps & Benefits

July 16, 2021

Headstand (sirsasana) is often referred to as the “king of asanas.” It’s a well-earned title, as it’s one of the most advanced yoga inversions. Headstand is a shape that shouldn’t be rushed into. It’s important to build up strength and understand the foundation of the pose before jumping into it. That being said, headstand is a pose that offers many benefits and can be a very rewarding addition to your practice.

For those new to the asana, headstands can feel a bit intimidating to practice in a group class setting. If you’re brand new to practicing headstand, make it more accessible by breaking it down step by step.

Set up Smart

When first learning headstand it can be really helpful to practice alongside a wall. You can fold over your mat for extra head support until you get used to the feeling of putting most of the weight in your forearms.

Start in a tabletop position facing the wall. Come down onto your forearms and interlace your hands. Place the flat part of your head down and set your hands up as a cradle at the base of your neck. Tuck your toes and lift your knees from the ground. Take small steps to walk your feet in until your shoulders are stacked directly over your elbows. Then, press into your forearms to bring more weight into your arms and relieve some of the pressure from your head. Keep your arms square alongside you and engage your core. Slowly bring one knee in, followed by the other. Pause with both knees tucked in towards your chest and your feet lifted off the ground. From here slowly extend your legs up. You can use the wall for support by flexing your feet and placing your heels against the wall.

Benefits of Practicing Headstand

Inversions in general are known for their ability to improve circulation and benefit both the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. They also offer the unique pairing of being able to increase energy in the moment and initiate deep relaxation shortly after. Incorporating a headstand into your asana practice can be a great way to build personal confidence, knowing that you have the capacity to take on great challenges and find the fun in completing them.

Poses to Practice to Build Strength and Posture for Headstand

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog pose)
  • Catur Svanasana (dolphin pose)
  • Bakasana (crow pose)
  • Phalakasana (plank pose)

Victoria Maybee l Mukha YogaBy Victoria Maybee; All Rights Reserved @2021

Victoria Maybee l Mukha Yoga

By Victoria Maybee; All Rights Reserved @2021

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