One of the yoga challenge poses is the Headstand or Sirsasana. It is an intermediate pose that presents quite a bit of challenge for beginners that are just starting yoga.
That is why I do not recommend beginners to learn how to do a Headstand right away. It is one of the inversion poses that can only be done properly after many months of practice.
The Headstand or Sirsasana requires a high amount of strength and flexibility and is very dangerous if done incorrectly. There are many poses that you should aim to master before this one when starting out.
Depending on how quick you learn and how often you do yoga, it is often advised to practice other asanas for a long time to build upper body strength and balance. You can practice at home easily everyday and be strong enough after a few months.
The body is entirely inverted while doing the Headstand posture. It is held upright with almost no support from the head. All the support comes from the forearms. The top of the head will only rest gently on the floor.
Benefits of Yoga Challenge Poses: the Headstand.
Sirsasana is one of the most amazing Yoga Challenge Poses. It is a very stable posture that lays down the foundations for more difficult inversions.
The Headstand allows the practitioner to feel physically and mentaly refreshed. It has many benefits when practiced safely on a regular basis while keeping very important considerations in mind.
Leaning how to do a Headstand will:
- Improve confidence and the ability to handle challenges
- Improve blood circulation throughout the body
- Strengthen the shoulders, core, arms, neck
- Increase energy levels, stamina, and metabolism
- Increase nutrients flow to head for younger skin and hair
- Calm the mind, relieve from stress, anxiety and insomnia.
When should the Headstand be avoided.
It is not recommended that you practice Sirsasana if you are just starting out with yoga. At least a few months are required to build strength in the upper body and deep core.
It should not be the first inversion that you try even if it is not the most difficult one. Start with easier but still challenging poses as it is very confusing to go upside down for the first time.
In general, yoga and especially all inversions should be practiced on an empty stomach. An entirely inverted body can prevent food to circulate through your body properly.
The Headstand should also be avoided during menstruation, and if you suffer from high blood pressure, hypertension or heart palpitations. If you have ears or eyes problem, don’t practice the headstand either.
This yoga pose is also very demanding for the neck and shoulders, so avoid it if you have any pain in those body regions. Build strength with poses like Dolphin before learning how to do a Headstand.
When should you attempt the Headstand.
Sirsasana has plenty of fantastic variations. But I recommend that you learn the basic yoga poses and feel comfortable with them before moving on to the variants.
It is one very important posture that every yoga student should learn at some point for the challenge, to progress and take the yoga practice to the next level, even with a home practice.
Just make sure to practice regularly and go step by step to master it. Be patient with yourself and don’t forget to breathe, focus, and have fun.
Yoga Challenge Poses: How to Do a Headstand or Sirsasana.
How to do a Headstand? Make sure that you don’t put all your weight on your head. The Headstand is a full body posture that engage the legs and the core, the arms and shoulders.
Put most of your weight on your shoulders and upper outer arms to relieve the neck. Engage your core while holding your legs together without falling into a backbend.
Practicing the dolphin pose is a great way to build strength and ease into the Headstand. The head and arms placement are critical to succeed as they are the foundations of this posture.
Place your forearms against the ground and cross your hands. Make sure to keep your head at the base of your palms and your hands opened. Your weight should be on your forearms and not on your head.
Lift your lower body and walk your feet as close as possible to place your waist above your shoulders. Always press very firmly into your forearms and wrists while engaging your core to stay stable.
You will then need a strong core to lift up your feet and your knees progressively with control and balance. Do not kick up. Instead, do it slowly to build core strength and prevent injuries.
How to do a Headstand? The Headstand or Sirsasana is one of the Yoga Challenge Poses with intermediate difficulty. It has many benefits for health when practiced correctly on a regular basis.
It can improve energy levels, strength and stamina, also get rid of stress, anxiety and insomnia. Plus, it helps blood circulation to the head and increases nutrients flow.
The Headstand should only be done under important considerations. During menstruation, with high blood pressure or pain in the shoulders and neck, this pose should be avoided.
The hands placement is very crucial to practice the Headstand. Make sure to have enough arms, shoulders and core strength before learning how to do a headstand. Doing it regularly can also help you lose weight.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any question and express your thoughts in the comment section.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks four languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.