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How To Do Headstand Yoga Pose?

Published on 02 Feb 2022

How To Do Headstand Yoga Pose?

You must have come across numerous reels, videos, and posts online of Yogis you follow striking the awe-inspiring headstand Yoga pose or Sirsasana Pose. As effortless as it may seem from the outset, the months or years-on strength building, patience and practice it requires cannot be stressed enough. 

A headstand pose if not mastered correctly can prove to be seriously injurious and demands unbridled determination and most of all a regular yoga practice. If Sirsasana is your end goal, then a steady practice involving some aiding yoga poses is a must. 

Read on to find out the benefits of headstand yoga, how to perform a headstand, the safety measures to maintain, modifications to keep in mind as well as who all should avoid doing headstand pose.

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Benefits of doing Headstand Yoga Pose

Performing a headstand could prove to be an invigorating experience if applied caution. Headstand is definitely a challenging yoga pose that compels physical skill & flexibility as well as mental on the practitioner's part. 

Here are some of the significant benefits of headstand yoga -

  • Enhances core strength
  • Increases the development of shoulder girdle muscles and upper back
  • Increase balance
  • Challenges on working the whole body - from toes to shoulder
  • Boosts confidence
  • Provided mental acumen such as heightened sense of focus and concentrations

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How to do a Headstand Yoga Pose (Sirsasana)?

Headstand or Sirasana comes under the category of a yoga pose that demands continual patience & practice. We would strongly advise you to not rush or be reckless to perform a headstand as it can result in injury. Later on, we have also divulged the safety measures to keep in mind, as well as the modifications/variations of headstand one, can adopt in their practice- 

Step-by-Step Instructions to perform a Headstand:

  • Begin by making sure that your yoga mat is thick and placed alongside a wall. If your mat is thin, then you can cushion it by folding over.
  • Now, get on your hands and knees (all fours). Keep your wrists underneath your shoulder and your knees under your hips.
  • Now slide onto your forearm, keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders.
  • Interlace your fingers togethers such that they appear webbed.
  • Place your head on the ground and bring your interlaced fingers to the back of your head, cupping them.
  • Now, start by tucking your toes to lift your pelvis while keeping your legs straight. (Think Downward-facing dog)
  • Be very mindful as you walk your feet in until your shoulders are directly above your elbows.
  • Once in place, lift your shoulders off the floor such that there is length created for your neck. Walk your feet a bit farther till your shoulder are little beyond your elbows.
  • Now, keeping your head in the same position, engage your abs as you bend one knee and pull it into your chest. Your heel would go to the sitz bones as you come into this position.
  • Repeat in the same order with the other knee and keep your toes pointed.
  • You can stay here with your knees tucked in. Or, if you want to up the challenge while keeping your strength in mind you can go on to a full headstand.
  • Slowly, lift one leg followed by the other such that your feet are flexed and in line with your torso.
  • Hold this position for a few breaths.

How to come out of the headstand:

  • Once your in a headstand, focus on your breath and keep your core tight. Do not push yourself excessively while maintaining a balanced pose.
  • If you are a beginner, then try to go for 10 seconds before coming down.
  • When you wish to come out of the pose, start by reversing the steps in a carefully controlled manner.
  • Finish the headstand practice by coming to a Child's Pose.

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Modifications/Variations of Headstand Yoga 

Headstands are not for everyone and are sure to consult your doctor before attempting one. They are a form of inversion therapy and some people are strictly advised against practicing it. Headstand yoga is for those who have already mastered the advanced yoga stage and wish to up the ante. 

That being said, here some variations/modifications that one should keep in mind while practicing- 

  • Use A Wall - Practicing a headstand against a wall is a great supplementary for beginners learning to come in and out of the pose. It helps you train your breathing pattern and supports you as long as you are in a headstand.
  • Rope In Yoga Equipment - You can always make use of yoga blocks, or tools like feet-up trainer during your practice.
  • Keep Somebody By Your Side - The first few times you indulge in sirasana practice you should keep someone by your side to help you get into the pose and help avoid injuries.
  • Go for Intermediate-level Poses such as Tripod Dolphin Pose or Tripod Egg Headstand Pose before attempting a full headstand.

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Safety Measures/Precautions 

1. Build from the Ground Up: The safest approach is to build the pose from the ground up, checking along the way to ensure your alignment is good, that you're staying focused, and that you have the strength you need to get into (and out of) the pose safely.

2. Consult your Doctor: Do consult your doctor before you start a yoga practice. If you've recently had an injury or surgery involving your neck, spine, or head, you may need to avoid the pose until you've healed. 

3. Not advisable for Pregnant Women: Due to changes in circulation and a shifting center of gravity, it's generally best to avoid starting any inversion practices, including headstands, if you're pregnant.

4.  Avoid if you have High BP: While many yoga poses can be calming, have a history of high blood pressure (hypertension) or take medication to treat it, or have glaucoma, your doctor may advise you to avoid inversion poses.

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Do avoid inversions or headstands when you are feeling stressed out, haven't been sleeping well, or are weak and fatigued. If you're not sure you feel up to a headstand in class, skip it or ask your instructor or trainer for help before getting into the pose.


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