How to Do a Yoga Headstand

Every once in a while youíve got to turn the world upside down. Being upside down has many health benefits. Aside from relieving stress, realigning your spine and stimulating your immune system, you can build functional strength as a practical form of strength. Here are the exact steps to get into your first yoga headstand today.

Related: 4 Yoga Inversions, From Beginner to Advanced

Yoga Headstand

Grab your yoga mat, clear some space and prepare yourself to do your first yoga headstand.

1. Prepare the body


Donít just jump right into a headstand. You need to warm up your body. Do three rounds of sun salutation. This stretches your legs and spine while pumping blood to all your extremities and organs.

2. Forearm plank

Now itís time to get started. Lie on your stomach and enter into forearm plank. Your hands are clasped with your forearms flat on the ground. Your upper arms are directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your head in alignment with your spine. Tuck your tailbone as you strengthen your upper and lower abs and tighten your glutes. Keep your heels pressed back. Hold plank for 10-15 seconds.

Then do a series of forward movements. Push forward on your arms as you extend your feet. The goal here is to prepare the shoulders and upper body with specific directional movement. Go back and forth 5-10 times.

Related: 6 Reasons You Should Do a Plank Every Day

3. Downdog

Press into downdog. This is your reset. Then enter back into forearm plank. Repeat the shoulder warm up with a downdog reset two more times.

4. Single-leg prep

From forearm plank, drop your knees to the ground. Place the top of your head flat on the floor with your hands around your head, fingers remain clasped, and your palms open to cradle your head. Forearms flat on the floor with upper arms directly beneath your shoulders.

Lift into dolphin pose. Then slowly inch your feet forward closer to your chest. Get your feet as close to your chest as possible and stay as high up on your toes as possible. While high on your toes, practice tilting your pelvis up over your body, keeping your arms and shoulders aligned. Then slowly lift one leg into your chest. Place it back down. Then lift it again to your chest. Practice this movement 5-10 times. Then reset with downdog and forearm plank. Youíll repeat on the other side.

5. Abdominal control

A major part of successfully entering into headstand is understanding the directional movement of your body and how it feels to have your body stacked. Strengthen your abdomen and glutes to maintain control and to assist in feeling proper body alignment. Practice strengthening from your shoulders into your abdomen and then into your glutes, hips and thighs. Itís this strength and control that will get you into and help you stay in a full headstand.

6. Full headstand

Now that youíve fully prepared and strengthened your shoulders and abdomen, youíre ready to lift one leg and then another into full headstand, starting from dolphin. Place your head on the ground backed by your open palms. Then inch you feet towards your chest. Once youíre high up on your toes and your feet canít come any closer (youíre so close to naturally lifting already), weight forward into your forearms and shoulders, upper body stacked, lift one leg straight up. As you lift one leg straight up the other will naturally lift and your knee can pull into your chest. Regain stability and strength here. Then slowly lift the tucked leg to meet the other. Use the strength of your abdomen to maintain control.

Tips:

  • Make sure thereís plenty of space around you.
  • Be prepared to fall. You may tumble forward, over your shoulders or even to the side. Practice on soft surfaces to guard your fall or pad the ground if you desire.
  • Practice regularly. Do the prep work until you feel comfortable.
  • Be patient. It may take time.

40 comments

Sonia M

Thanks for sharing.

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Cathy B
Cathy B3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago

Thanks.

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Winn A
Winn A3 months ago

Thanks

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Winn A
Winn A3 months ago

Not for me

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 months ago

thank you

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 months ago

thank you

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Chad A
Chad A3 months ago

Thanks but I don't think I could manage it.

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