Most people practice yoga regularly and may consider themselves well versed with the exercise; Chair pose, Full bind, Warrior 2, you name it. But Yoga headstand? Any time a yoga instructor calls for headstand, everyone freezes.
However, every yogi is undoubtedly curious to attempt headstand. After all, it sounds like one of the postures that you have to learn to be considered a real yogi. However, for some reason, when yoga practitioners think of flipping their bodies upside down with all that weight in their head, they often picture their spine in half and fall on to the yoga mat. Too dramatic? Welcome to many yogi’s nightmares.
Does yoga headstand scare you as well? To most people, the consolation is when they look around the yoga studio at their fellow yogis and realize that many of them are sitting out of their headstand yoga pose.
This brings us to the next question; how do you master headstand? Is it worth it? Well, in this article, we are going to answer these questions and more.
What Is A Yoga Headstand?
For beginners, Peterson explains that a yoga headstand is an “inversions” – pose that brings your heart over your head, or a yoga pose that flips you upside down. Headstand yoga poses are said to be of significant benefit to the lymphatic system and the cardiovascular system. “Inversions are also a great physical practice. You’ve to work everything to grasp this pose,” notes Peterson, together with your core, arms, legs and glutes.
Not to state, there’re some mental benefits as well; one of the benefits is fun. In addition to this, you refresh your perception and putting all upside down is psychologically incredible.
Before You Attempt To Practice Yoga Headstand:
You need to realize that it is okay if this yoga pose is not right for you or your body. Several factors can get in the way while practicing poses that are entirely out of control, notes Peterson. For instance, if you have structural disproportion in your shoulder and back or deteriorating disk issues, you should not practice a yoga headstand.
It is not worth it. However, even if nothing is standing on your way, there’re several things to take note of before trying your first yoga headstand. These include the following;
- Practice alignment
When practicing headstand, it is crucial to keep your body and spine in the proper position. To practice and exercise alignment, practice mountain pose. Here, you stand up straight, with your arms elevated towards your ears and overhead to build strong muscles and work on your neck.
In addition to this, when you have prepared to exercise headstand, you should have an instructor check your neck’s alignment and watch you. Is there a bend in your backbone? Are you at the correct place on top of your head? All these are crucial factors to be considered to avoid injury.
- Do not pull the entire body weight in a single place.
The objective is to ensure there is less than 10% of your body mass supported by your head. That implies that it is essential to involve the other parts of your body, such as core, arms, legs and glutes. You may similarly exercise with reduced weight by having yoga blocks underneath your forearms to absorb pressure from your head.
- Regulate your speed
It would be best if you were not popping up into a yoga headstand at a higher speed. You have got to move up at a low rate and down slowly as well. This will reduce the pressure and weight in your head and spine.
- It is not a marathon.
To correctly master yoga headstand, you are likely to have the impression that you are required to hold on to the pose for a long time. However, that is not right. You should not hold the posture for very long, three breaths and or less is just fine. Additionally, if that feels like its tool long, it’s still okay.
Workup Your Way to Yoga Headstand
In case you are new to it, move one step after another. Get to realize that each person has to put in some effort at it. Make your way up to this pose with other postures, such as dolphin pose or downward dog pose, legs up along the wall, or wide-leg forward fold.
You may as well exercise it by use of a chair. To do so, get into the dolphin posture with the hands cradling your head, then place your feet on a bench or a chair. Then exercise raising one leg then the other into the air.
All these are great inversion alternatives if you realize that yoga headstand is not suitable for you.
How to Do a Yoga Headstand
Here is the moment you all have been looking forward to: Here is how to truly get yourself into yoga headstand. In addition to this, if you are a beginner, ensure that you practice this pose in the presence of an instructor to observe your alignment.
How to: start by interlocking your fingers as well as placing the hands on the floor, with palms facing each other. Place your head’s back into your hands, and place your heads top on the ground. Your shoulder edges ought to be rotated outwards.
Begin with your legs in dolphin posture, and then check your position before proceeding. Your shoulders, head, hips and spine must be aligned in one line. Ensure to take five breathes here.
After this, raise one foot into the air and while you use your core strength, raise the other leg to meet it. You should feel like the elbows are punching into the floor. Your thighs, glutes and the core are engaged. Ensure your legs stay quad extended and straight. Your body must feel similar to a secure solid cylinder with negligible weight on your head. Hold onto this position for three breathes and then lower the legs back down slowly.
Variations and Modifications
Require a modification?
Inversions may be intimidating even to yogis with more experience. If you are still working on your confidence and strength to practice the posture, try the following modifications:
- Exercise against a wall: this may be particularly supportive as you learn how to get out, inversion, or a headstand. It may also support you as you exercise your breathing methods while you hold on to the pose,
- Helpful tools: Ask your trainer or instructor about utilizing tools such as yoga blocks or feet-up trainers to assist you in exercising.
Benefits of a Yoga Headstand
After you are done with strength, care and focus, headstand or inversions may be a refreshing part of yoga exercise. The posture necessitates mental endurance and skills. Similarly, the pose challenges your complete body and builds your core strength from your toes to your shoulders, helping you enhance your balance.
Precautions and Safety
Having looked at how to do a yoga headstand, it is also essential to note that exercising a yoga headstand wrongly may cause serious injury to your neck. It is important to note that your spine’s small bones are not made to withstand your entire body’s weight. To this extent, therefore, headstands are tricky, and the safest way to get to it is through building the posture from the ground up, observing throughout to make sure that your alignment is correct, that you stay focused, that you possess the strength needed to get out of and into the posture safely.
Make sure to talk to your physician before getting into the yoga exercise, particularly if you have injuries or diseases that affect your spine or neck. If you recently had surgery or an injury that involves your spine, head or neck, you might need to evade the posture until you heal.
First, prevent disc herniation or neck strain; engage your trainer or instructor to focus and conditioning your body before trying a full yoga headstand alone.
While several postures may be soothing, have a hypertension history, take a prescription to treat it, or behave glaucoma, your physician can guide you not to practice inversion postures.
Some yoga trainers may advise learners not to practice headstands or inversions when feeling stressed out, haven’t slept well or are fatigued and weak. If you are not sure you are up to an inversion yoga pose in studio, ask your trainer or instructor for assistance in advance or skip it.
As a result of circulation changes and a shift in the center of gravity, it is usually best not to practice any headstand exercise, including inversions, if you are expectant.
If you want the inversion benefits of a headstand but cannot practice the pose, other postures may have comparable benefits. If you are recuperating from a surgery or an injury, or have some medical conditions, these other different postures can be safer.
In addition to this, it is also important to note that whether you can pull off an inversion or not then does not make you less of a yoga practitioner. Yoga is about competent action. As long as you make choices with deep personal power and why, that is yoga. How you approach, every posture is as crucial as the practicing of the pose.