Headstand is a posture that requires a solid core and balance. For many yogis, being able to get into headstand is an inspiring challenge that takes months or years to work up to. Below are a few tips for approaching this pose.
Get Your Priorities Straight
If you are set on getting the perfect Instagram shot by posing in headstand, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your goals for doing this pose. Yes, there is no doubt that a clean, controlled headstand pose is visually impressive and makes a great photo. However, remember that the benefits of yoga are much deeper than pulling off a cool trick to impress your friends. Embrace this new challenge as a way to deepen your body awareness, focus, and breathing techniques. It is another way you can deepen your connection with yourself.
Build Your Core
Preparing your muscles for headstand is important. The stronger core, the better chance you have at making progress towards headstand. Plank and BOW/BOAT pose are two great ways to help develop the core strength you will need to approach headstand.
Build Your Shoulder Strength
Headstand is not just balancing on the head. Because most of your body weight will be supported by your shoulders and a firm core, you should take the time to develop your shoulder strength. Dolphin pose is an excellent posture that can help you prepare and advance towards headstand.
Patience is a Virtue
For most of us, headstand pose does not come overnight. Progress tends to happen very gradually with this pose. As your flexibility and strength deepen, appreciate the simple devotion you have placed on working towards this pose rather than the appearance of any physical progress. Every practice and every day is different, so do not compare today’s achievement with yesterday’s. Be grateful and enjoy the act of practicing towards headstand.
Modify According to Your Body
Some people prefer headstand with their elbows bent at 90 degrees with palms flat on the ground, while others prefer headstand with their forearms on the ground, hands clasped above the head. Do what is right for you!
Honor Your Body with Proper Support and Safety
Don’t rush into attempting this pose until you feel that your body is ready and capable to attempt the pose safely. Perhaps you are more comfortable trying this pose against a wall or with a friend nearby. Be sure you can attempt the pose in a safe manner with any support that you feel is necessary. Achieving headstand pose is not at all worth putting your body at risk of injury.
Remember that yoga is not a practice of checking goals off a list—rather, it is an ongoing development of one’s practice. Achieving your first headstand is wonderful! Try not to abandon the pose once you have achieved it. Remember to focus on your breath, calmly breathing as you hold the pose.
Above all, take your time and enjoy the process!