Headstand - Salamba Sirshasana - The Yoga Collective

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Headstand – Salamba Sirshasana

Pose Summary

This is a pose that often get students very excited but the key and challenge here is to keep focused and master getting in and out of the pose in a controlled manner. Once achieved it boosts confidence and stimulates blood circulation in your brain.

Yoga Collective - Headstand – Salamba Sirshasana

Steps

Step 1

Start in Vajrasana (sitting on your heels).

Step 2

Lean forward and place your elbows on the floor.

Step 3

Grab opposite elbows with your hands. This is the distance you should maintain between your elbows throughout the pose.

Step 4

Bring the hands out in front of you and interlace your fingers, palms facing your body.

Step 5

Lift up your seat from your heels.

Step 6

Tuck in your toes, lift up your hips and straighten your legs. You are now in a variation of Dolphin pose with your hands clasped.

Step 7

Take one step closer towards your head.

Step 8

Lower your head down and let the front of the crown of your head touch the floor, in between your arms and so close to your hands that the back of your head is now supported by your palms and thumbs.

Step 9

Walk your feet as close as you can to your body so your hips stack over your head.

Step 10

Lift one leg up as high as you can (you will automatically feel which one feels more natural to you), activate your core and then also raise the second leg. Ideally you should not have to kick with your legs but rather just lift the legs up using your core strength. If you are not there yet make a slight jump with your second leg taking care so you don’t fall over.

Step 11

Press your lower arms down to the ground to release pressure in your neck. Most weight should be in your arms – not your head!

Step 12

Keep your legs together, internally rotated, and keep your abs activated for balance. Stay here for 5 breaths.

Step 13

To get out of this pose lower one leg down at a time and finish with coming down in Child’s pose for 5 breaths.

Modifications

If you fear falling over you can start practicing this pose against a wall or with a spotter.

If your elbows fall out to the sides then tighten a strap around your upper arms so they remain shoulder distance apart.

If you feel comfortable in this pose and your core is strong enough lift both legs up together, keeping a pike in your hips while moving upwards.

Benefits

  • Improves blood circulation in your brain and stimulates the pituitary and hypothalamus glands.
  • Reduces depression, stress hormones and boosts confidence.
  • Improves digestion and detoxifies your body.
  • Reduces strain on the heart and improves cardiovascular functioning.
  • Improves balance and focus.
  • Strengthens abs, shoulders and back.
  • Increases body heat.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you suffer from high blood pressure.
  • Avoid this pose if you suffer from spondylitis or have any neck or disc problems.
  • If pregnant avoid this pose if this is not within your general practice, especially in the first trimester.