It took me a while to be brave enough and stand on my head. It all started around 3 years ago when I decided to take my yoga practice into a whole new level. I used to practice vinyasa just for the workout but then I started to find all those weird challenging poses that in some sort of way changed my life. I might say that Sirsasana was one of the things that made me want to be a Yoga Teacher, but I’m not going to talk about that, today I’m going to show you 7 important things to keep in mind on your Sirsasana Practice:
Before starting with your practice, I highly recommend that you do some serious warm up, some sun salutations or with some stretches (you can try this video of total body yoga) , I always do some forearm planks, downward facing dog and dolphin before, because these poses will stretch and strengthen my arms and shoulders and they also help me to find that inverted spine that we will look for on the headstand.
It’s important to have a good foundation. Make sure you create a safe base with your forearms and head: the elbows and hands will make a triangle and your head will be in the middle, leave a hollow space in between your palms. Also find the right spot on your head to place on the floor, usually I place my hand on my forehead and my fingers will be pointing at the right place.
Before jumping into anything, start by lifting your tailbone and walking your feet towards your head, once you have a vertical spine, the weight of your torso will be over the arms and not the legs, and there its going to be easier to lift your legs.
It’s not about how fast you lift your feet over your head, its about how controlled you do it. Your core is not only your abs, it also includes your lower back, your glutes and thighs. If you engage all these muscles you are going to have a complete control over your legs, then they are going to be easily lifted and you wont have to jump anywhere : ).
Trying different approaches will make you understand what is more important in any inversion, not only headstand. Trying tripod headstand will make you engage your arms a little bit more, but it will also train you to keep every single muscle of your body completely engaged in order to achieve the pose. Here you can place the knees on your arms before lifting them, maybe you’ll feel more secure here before bringing everything up.
Once you have control of lifting your legs, opening them when up will give you more balance, and it will be easier to hold it for a longer time, that works if you want to get used to the inversion for long periods, but remember that our goal is to have a long straight body, (like a mountain pose but upside down) .
I highly recommend that you recover after any challenging pose, go back into a resting position and into controlled breathing (we tend to stop breathing when we are up there, but is something that we can work on the process). Be humble in your practice, and take care of yourself, you are the only one who knows your limits, so be gentle. Practice this constantly and you will se the results with time.
If you have high blood pressure, are pregnant, had a injury on your neck or shoulders or are on your cycle. I recommend to ask a doctor for advice : )
here’s a video tutorial so you can practice with me.