How To Do a Yoga Headstand

Headstands are the perfect combination of beauty, grace, strength and balance. Headstands tone your core, arms, and upper back and naturally stimulate your brain by increasing circulation. Feel stuck in your life? Some yogi masters recommend doing a headstand inversion to offer a new and different perspective. As magnificent as headstands are they can also be intimidating if you’ve never tried one before.

Not to worry. I’ve got just the trick for you to master your first headstand!

Preparation: Most of what holds us back from trying inversions is the fear of falling and injuring ourselves so before you try a headstand do yourself a favor and lay down a bunch of pillows and blankets for psychological and physical padding. After you become comfortable with the pose you can try it without the cushions.

Method 1 (beginner)

Step 1: Start by placing your palms on the ground parallel to each other

Step 2: Locate the flat spot spot top of your head (we all have one). From here place the top of your head on the floor in front of your palms to create a “V shape” (this will be your base) arms should make a 90 degree bend

Step 3: Begin to hike one knee onto the same elbow, once you feel comfortable you can begin to place your other knee on the other elbow

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Step 4: Brace your abs and begin to lift your knees up (keep the legs close to the body)

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Step 5: Push your knees up towards the sky and then begin to straighten your spine

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Step 6: Breathe! You will be wavering! Breathing helps us find the balance

To find proper alignment: make sure that your ankles stack over your hips, hips stack over over shoulders and shoulders stack over you head.

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Watch for these common misalignments:

Watch out for a curved spine! When you allow your back to arch (or sway back) this can put your lower back at risk. Try tucking your tailbone and keep those abs engaged. Pull your belly button in towards your spine and then lift your belly up towards your the bottom of your rib cage.

Watch for narrow arms! Your palms should be hip- width apart to provide a strong and stable base for your headstand.

Method 2 (advance)

I recommend starting this style of headstand after you have mastered the former. I also think it helps doing the headstand close to a wall. Once you feel comfortable you can begin to move to the center of the room.

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Step 1: Start by CUPPING YOUR HANDS TOGETHER. No one ever stressed this to me before. Finally figuring out this step helped me get into my first headstand. Place your head into your cupped hands on the floor

Step 2: Hike your hips up into the arm into a dolphin or down dog shape

Step 3: Tip toe your feet in towards your torso

Step 4: When you can tip toe no more begin to engage your core and float your legs up towards the ceiling.

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Step 6: Breathe!

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Hopefully this helps get you into your first headstand! Did you get into it? If you didn’t no worries! Keep practicing! Some people get into the their first headstand in a couples days while others it takes a couple of months! Your body will eventually become more aligned as you gain increasing awareness. Headstands are something that just take time and everyone is different. Let me know in the comments below if there are any other yoga poses you would like to learn how to master :)