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How to Do the Headstand Pose

Learn how to do the headstand pose correctly with these instructions.

Instructions

  • : Do not attempt this pose if you have high blood pressure, are pregnant, have glaucoma or similar eye problems, or have a neck injury.
  • TIP: Warm up your neck and shoulders by doing other yoga poses first, like the Cat Cow, Cobra, and Bridge poses.
  • Step 1: Get on hands & knees Begin on your hands and knees.
  • TIP: To help stabilize yourself, face a wall with your hands about 6 inches away from it.
  • Step 2: Lower forearms Lower your forearms onto the floor in front of you with your elbows shoulder distance apart.
  • Step 3: Interlock fingers Interlock your fingers so that your forearms form a triangle.
  • Step 4: Plant crown on mat Plant the crown of your head on the mat with your palms cupped around the back of your head.
  • Step 5: Straighten legs & raise hips Straighten your legs, raising your hips up so your body forms an inverted V.
  • Step 6: Walk feet toward body Walk your feet toward your body, straightening your back and keeping your weight on your elbows.
  • Step 7: Lift up feet Slowly bend your knees and lift—try not to kick or jump—your feet straight up off the mat.
  • TIP: You should be able to hold this pose comfortably for about 30 seconds before attempting do the full Headstand Pose.
  • Step 8: Align body Lift your legs straight up so your entire body forms a straight line and there is perfect alignment between your hips, torso, neck, head and shoulders.
  • Step 9: Press against mat Press against the mat with your forearms to protect your neck, which should not be bearing your body weight.
  • Step 10: Hold pose Hold the pose for several relaxed breaths.
  • TIP: As you become more comfortable with this pose, extend its duration to a few minutes.
  • Step 11: Release pose Release the pose before you become too tired, slowly coming down the way you came up.
  • FACT: An Austrian yoga devotee recently performed a headstand for 15 minutes straight—on the roof of a moving car.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket
  • A wall
  • A qualified yoga instructor's supervision

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