Headstand is a great inversion with many benefits. It not only strengthens your neck, shoulders and abdomen but it can also relieve stress, mild depression and insomnia in addition to many other benefits. This pose can be practiced up against a wall for support and you can use a foam pad or fold your mat under your head if you wish. As a beginner, always feel free to grab a buddy to practice with so you can spot each other if you’re worried about falling.
Here are some steps to get you into headstand:
Kneel down and place the crown of your head on the mat. There are two different ways you can support yourself in headstand. One is by cradling the back of your head in your palms with interlaced fingers and the other is by placing your palms on your mat on either side of your head with your elbows at a 90 degree angle.
Once you have found a comfortable way to support yourself, lift your knees off the ground and start to walk your feet towards your elbows/hands until your torso is perpendicular to the ground.
Push down into the ground firmly with either your forearms or your palms, depending on your variation, and lift your shoulders away from your ears so there is barely any weight on your head and your neck isn’t strained.
Keeping your weight even on both arms, slowly lift your feet off the ground. Beginners may lift their legs with bent knees into a tuck position and straighten them into the air once they find the balance or if you have the core strength, you can lift the legs straight up in the air at the same time.
Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds and gradually add time onto your hold time as you get stronger.
To come down, slowly lower your straight legs back to the floor at the same time. Once your toes touch, you can bend your knees to the ground and lift your head.
It is important to note that if you have a neck or back injury you should not practice this pose. If you are pregnant, you should only practice this pose if it is not already in your practice.
Once you become strong in your headstand practice you can try different variations with your legs such as eagle or lotus legs!