4 steps to mastering a headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)
There are many ways of changing your perspective, most of which occur inside our own heads. An actual headstand is one of the more fun ways to physically get upside down, momentarily change our view of the world and get the blood flowing to our brains. Doing a headstand isn’t as daunting as it seems. For the best results, break it down into these four steps.
1. Practice summersaults. Summersaults themselves are a great way to tap into playfulness and get your energy flowing. It’s something most kids do naturally, but something we may be intimidated by later if we don’t practice it. Pick a soft spot to practice summersaults.
2. Headstand pike with one leg up at a time. Create a tripod by placing both hands and your head on the floor. Find your balance as you inhale to lift one leg into the air, exhale to place it back on the floor. Repeat with the other leg. Rather than kick, feel your weight shifting to the top of your head.
3. Get your back against the wall. Create a tripod with the back of your head against a wall. From here you can try a teddy bear headstand by climbing up onto your bent elbows. Lift one foot off the ground, then the other. Breathe and balance.
4. Try your headstand on a soft surface. Practice on a sandy beach, in the grass, or in front of a thick gym mat. Be prepared to tuck into your summersault if you feel yourself begin to tip backwards.
If you’ve never tried a headstand at all, ask a trusted yoga teacher for help first. If you already practice headstand, strengthen your core by going into and out of it with control from Prasarita Padotanasana (Wide Angle Forward Fold) See this video as an example. Enjoy changing your perspective. Namaste!
Image: K. Mae Copham in headstand in Vail, CO. Photo by Robert Oakley. Headstand video by K. Mae Copham, shot by Robert Oakley at Bridgehampton, NY. Get your Yoga Teddy Bear swag today! Makes great gifts for kids ages 2-92.