What's The Trick To Do Headstand? I can easily come into tripod and get my knees up there, but I can't figure out how to balance in supported headstand! It's like my body turns backwards and nothing lines up as it's supposed to. - Rachel M.
Oh, inversions. They’re seen as the most impressive yoga poses because they’re often some of the most difficult ones to do. Students often come to me asking about how to master headstand specifically, so I’ve done a lot of observing to figure out just how to give the right answer. Here are a few steps to keep in mind:
1. Work On Core Strength
It may not be super obvious, but the core does a lot to hold us up during poses like head and hand stands. Warm up the abdomen by doing Planks, Side Planks, and other core poses before attempting a headstand.
2. Set Up A Great Foundation With Your Hands, Arms, And Head
Grab a hold of opposite biceps in order to measure the perfect distance between your forearms and elbows. Then, create a little basket with your hands by interlacing your fingers. Fit the very back of your skull into that basket, so that the very tippy top of your head is resting (very lightly) on the ground. Press into your forearms! You'll want so much strength there that your head is just skimming the earth.
Pick your knees up off the floor and send your hips up and back, almost into a Down Dog-like position. Stay here for a while and let your body get familiar with the shape. Your core will take charge when you start to send your feet up into the air.
The biggest mistake I see when people attempt headstand is that they hold their breath. Constant and strong breath will undoubtedly support your attempt to get upside down. Do yourself the favor of inhaling and exhaling frequently.
Additional Tips and Information
My number one tip to nail any kind of inversion is to step away from the wall. Sure, kicking in to the wall provides a really great safety net, but in the end, all it is is a crutch. In order to learn how to get up, you need to know how to fall out. If this totally freaks you out, practice on sand or grass, or on cushy pads at the gym. If you’re constantly providing that wall for support behind you, you’ll never learn how to truly use your own strength to hold you up.