How does a Headstand or any inversion relate to our ability to manage emotions and remain calm under pressure? One of the biggest benefits of Headstand is that it has a direct connection to being able to trigger a shift in perspective.
Have you ever thought about energized calmness? Sounds like an oxymoron, right? But what does energized calmness look like? What does it feel like?
I like to compare it to my favorite drink – lavender flavored coffee. The caffeine brings energy while the lavender brings calmness. It also makes me think about my favorite yoga poses – inversions.
While some might find this way of thinking to be contradictory, others might look at it as a solution to their internal chaos. There is never a “one-size-fits-all” approach, especially in yoga.
But if you find something out of the ordinary that works for you, dive deeper into it. Spend time asking the questions about how this benefits you and why. Maybe you’ll discover a whole new side to yourself, or like me, a new way to start the day (thank you lavender lattes!).
What Are the Benefits of Headstand?
Now that we’ve started exploring the idea of shifting our perspective, let’s delve deeper into the benefits of Headstand or Sirsasana.
One fantastic cue I love and always hold on to is imagining a line of energy shooting from your heels to the crown of your head and back up. As you visualize this energetic line, think about your chakras, or the seven major energetic bodies inside of you.
While a Headstand encompasses the chakra concepts of lift, balance, power, strength, renewal, creativity, and liberation, it’s real energetic benefit is to stimulate the Crown Chakra. It awakens the Sahasrara (our inner spiritual self) at the crown of our head to enhance our clarity of vision and intuition.
One of the biggest benefits of Headstand is that it has a direct connection to being able to trigger a shift in perspective.
Headstand has been claimed to help improve mental clarity, strengthen immunity, and increase blood circulation.
It is also said that as we lift into an inverted posture, the weight of our abdominal muscles and organs encourages a deeper connection to our breath, which is believed to help remove toxins from the lungs and bring oxygenated blood back to the heart and body.
Among the long list of benefits stated above, Headstands are also reputed to stimulate the nervous system, strengthen the spine, shoulders, and neck, stimulate pituitary and pineal glands, relieve headaches and stress, help in the prevention of asthma, relieve menopausal imbalances, AND assist with anxiety and anger management.
How can you not try it?
Before Enjoying the Benefits of Headstand, Keep These 4 Points in Mind:
Before actually flipping your world, keep these simple things in mind.
1. Learn How to Fall
Remember that our yoga practice, just like life, is a journey. There will be times when we fall. When and if you do, the trick is to know how to fall safely.
You have so much energy in your body when you’re inverted that you need to learn how to transfer that energy into a motion instead of a jarring shock to your body.
If you are in a supported Headstand and fall, be sure to release your fingers, open your palms, tuck your neck, bend your knees, and let yourself roll out of it like a somersault – just like you were taught in elementary school!
2. Feel Free to Modify
Not quite ready for a full Headstand? Another inversion with almost as many benefits is Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog!
This pose also strengthens the core while improving circulation and is a great alternative to a Headstand.
Looking for another alternative? How about Uttanasana or Standing Forward Fold? This inversion helps soothe nerves and, when we think about our energetic bodies, it connects our Root Chakra to our Crown Chakra.
Another great benefit is the fresh flow of oxygen, or prana from being upside down, which brings a glow to the face and cools the eyes too.
3. Don’t Kick
Don’t ever kick up into a Headstand! Use core strength to float up instead.
Defy Gravity: Practice These 7 Steps to Master Your Headstand Press Up (Photo Tutorial)
4. Take Your Time
It’s important to remember that inversions, especially more complex asanas, are always best worked on after your body has already warmed up. Progress slowly and smartly into Headstand to allow you to be mindful and kind to your body.
Only progress as far as you feel stable and comfortable – don’t risk injuring yourself to get upside down!
Put the Benefits of Headstand Into Practice! Here’s Your Step-by-Step Guide to Practice Headstand:
Now, are you ready to attempt your first Headstand? Know there are many modifications you can incorporate in your own routine.
You can use a wall or a buddy for support, stack blocks under your shoulders, or use Dolphin Pose as an excellent substitute to full Headstand.
Before practicing the pose, set your intention: “I am open and ready to shift my perspective.”
Let’s try it:
- Place your forearms on the floor with your elbows shoulder-width apart
- Interlace your fingers and place the very top of your head on the mat between your forearms
- Curl your toes under and lift your hips, maintaining a long spine – it’s okay to bend your knees slightly here
- Shift the weight into your forearms as you walk your feet toward your head
- Lift your hips vertically over your shoulders by strongly engaging through your core
- As you lift your hips, make sure to continue to actively press the floor away through your forearms, keeping space around your neck and shoulders
- Stack your hips over your shoulders and lift your legs as you curl your knees into your body in an upside down fetal position
- With control, slowly engage your core deeply, lifting one or both legs straight into the air
- Press your inner thighs toward each other as if you’re squeezing paper between your legs
- Continue to press your forearms into the floor. There should be little or no weight on your head
- Hold for as long as you’d like before slowly releasing out
Enjoy the Many Benefits of Headstand
While Headstand is a fantastic goal, remember, there are many options that will still help give you “energetic calm.”
Feel your perspective shift, get upside down, and maybe try that lavender latte too!
Ready to Completely Transform Your Inversion Practice? Do These 12 Core Exercises
Ready to Try Handstand?
If you love Headstand, try Handstand Fundamentals! This 30-minute YA Classes workshop-style class builds on some of the principles you learned in your Headstand practice.
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