How To Do a Yoga Headstand&Handstand For Dummies?

How To Do a Yoga Headstand&Handstand For Dummies?

How to Master a Handstand through a Headstand?

Whoa! A Headstand. This Yoga asana can be overwhelming even for the most avid yoga practitioners. Known as Shirsana for headstand and Adho Mukha Vrksasana for handstand, these poses involve the complete inversion of the body.

The Shirsana is the first of the 12 asanas and due to its countless benefits, it is also known as the King of Asanas. We bring to you simple steps to practice yoga headstand/handstand as beginners.


Know the benefits

  • The most obvious benefit is improved circulation. As you spend most of your day sitting at one place, your body has to work against the gravity to supply blood to the upper body. A headstand/handstand rejuvenates the blood supply sending a gush of blood in your upper parts.
  • Strengthens your upper body muscles particularly shoulders, abdomen, and neck.
  • Works like magic for your skin. Improved blood circulation gives you a natural glow enhancing your complexion.
  • Stops graying of hair.
  • Helps your mind relax and calm down.

As beginners, it is advisable to start practicing the headstand against a wall further proceeding to a handstand, and ultimately without a wall support.


The preparation

It is important that you are prepared mentally and physically to perform a headstand. The best way to start doing so is practicing the Dolphin position. To start with, come down to your knees.

Now lean forward and rest your forearms. Keep your wrists near the wall. Make sure that your elbows, shoulders, and wrists are aligned. Also, your knees should be aligned with your hips.

Now slowly lift your knees followed by your heels. Balance your lower body on your toes. Perform a plank keeping your forearms on the floor for every inhalation. Come back to the initial state for every exhalation. It will strengthen your upper body muscles which are a requisite for performing a headstand.

headstand&handstand benefits


Positioning your head

Once you are in the dolphin position, clasp your hands together forming a triangle between each of your elbows and the wrists. Open up your palms keeping the fingers intertwined.

Rest your forehead on the floor. Bring it closer to your palm. Position your head firmly between the hands. You may want to adjust yourself a couple of times to settle in a comfortable position.

Make sure that your neck and head are relaxed and prepared to carry your body weight. As a beginner, you can rest your knees while doing this step.


Lifting your body

Lift up your knees and straighten up your legs. Push your torso upwards by walking towards your elbows. Ensure that you move your legs slowly. Keep your forearms firm keeping your torso engaged.

Do this until your hips are exactly above your head. Retain this position for some time till you are comfortable and ready to lift up your legs.

how to do a headstand yoga


Lifting your legs

Bend your knees lifting up your heels. Bring your knees closer to the body touching the chest. Now, take a deep breath and lift up your legs slowly while exhaling. Straighten your legs completely to touch the wall at the end of the breath.

how to do a yoga headstand&handstand



Be careful while coming out of the pose

Being cautious while coming out of the pose is as important as while performing it. Releasing the weight abruptly can strain the neck or shoulder due to the sudden jerk. While coming out of the pose, follow the same procedure in reverse order. Bend your knees close to your chest. Slowly straighten your legs and touch your toes to the ground.


Let go of the wall

Practice the headstand against the wall till you are comfortable balancing the body. Once you are good at it, you can try it without the help of a wall.


Get a partner

Performing the yoga headstand without the help of a wall can be difficult for the first time. But that’s not a problem at all. You can get a partner to help you. While you lift up your legs, your partner can hold them until you gain balance. Once you are confident, He can release you, and you are ready to go!


The yoga handstand

Once you have mastered the headstand, you can move on to the handstand. In this asana, you will be balancing your entire body weight solely on the palms. The most challenging part about a handstand is being upside down.

But you have already overcome that by learning a headstand. The handstand offers similar benefits as the headstand. Along with this, it strengthens your arm muscles and increasing coordination in the body.


Getting ready

Start with facing away from the wall. Kneel down and rest your palms on the floor. Make sure that your shoulders are directly above the wrists and your hips are directly above the knees.

Let the back of your feet touch the wall. Your sole should be completely flat on the wall. Now move your feet upward on the wall in small steps. You may bend your knees while doing so.

Once your feet are in line with your hips, retain that position until you are comfortable. Once you are ready, straighten up your legs pushing against the wall. Your legs should be perpendicular to the torso forming an ‘L’ shape.

Make sure you can retain this pose for at least one minute. After this, you can proceed for the handstand.


Get into position

Now slowly walk up your feet on the wall until they are straight. You can also straighten your legs completely in one step. But if you are doing this, keep it one leg at a time.

Once your legs are straight, you are now in the handstand pose. In the beginning, it might not come out completely straight, but with practice, you can sure achieve it.

handstand for begginers


Acing the handstand

To ensure that you can perform a handstand anywhere, you can practice it again, with the help of a wall. This time, face towards the wall. Rest your palms on the floor, with your hips high and soles flat on the floor.

Take a deep breath, and lift one of your leg exhalings. Touch your heel on the wall behind you. Similarly, lift up the other leg. At this point, only heels should touch the wall.

After you find your balance, take your feet off the wall one at a time.

When you are ready to try it without the support of a wall, do it at 2-3 feet away from the wall. By doing so, you can always rest your feet on the wall if at all you lose balance.

Once you master this, you can try it without any support with a partner to catch your feet ultimately doing it alone after sufficient practice.

handstand for dummies


Keep practicing

It will take time for your body to adjust to the yoga headstand/handstand as your body is not used to the upside down position. If you practice regularly, your body will adapt to it eventually.

This will help you to retain the pose for a longer time. Increase the holding time progressively to avoid pain in the neck and shoulders.

So it wasn’t that difficult after all!

The key is knowing your body and its limitations. The yoga headstand is one of the advanced yoga poses. Don’t push yourself too much. You might not get it on the first try.

Keep working and move on to higher steps gradually when you feel you are ready. Train yourself accordingly. This is what makes yoga unique. There are no requisites. Anyone can practice yoga.

It doesn’t matter if you are fat, short or tall. If you do it right, you can perform a handstand like a pro!


Be careful!

  • Ensure that you do not put excess weight on your head or neck while going into or coming out of the pose. Take maximum support of the wall and your arms.
  • To release the strain off your neck, roll your neck in circles. It will help in relaxing it.
  • As mentioned in the guidelines do not go into the pose directly, first perform the preparatory poses.
  • In the beginning, perform it on a cushioned floor. It is advisable to use a yoga mat as it will prevent you from slipping. Avoid doing it on a bed as it will not offer proper balance.
  • When doing it for the first time pick a corner of the room instead of a wall. It will offer better support to the body.
  • Do not try this if you are suffering from a headache, neck/shoulder pain and high blood pressure.

Practicing the handstand regularly will help you in many aspects. It will significantly improve your control and concentration. It will calm down your mind releasing stress. Improved blood circulation will safeguard you against heart diseases. Most importantly, better circulation to the scalp and the face will add to the beauty benefits.

Not only health but headstands also have more to offer. Knowing the handstand is a cool skill to show off. Next time when you are at a party, you can make the heads turn with your adept moves.

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