Fitness: Let’s Get Turnt…Upside Down

Do you ever have a day when you just feel “off”?

While it may be a beautiful day outside, or a normal day at work, sometimes you feel tired, cloudy or stressed in a way that’s seemingly out of your control. While exercise is an incredible mood booster, sometimes we don’t have the time to get a full workout in, and instead, look to focus on key moves that turn our frown upside down – literally!

There are powerful grounding poses in every yoga practice, but here we look to share some tips for headstand inversions. The literal head rush is invigorating, powerful, and awakens your senses. Whether you are a first timer, or pro, it’s important to practice these poses safely, and to only attempt as much as you feel comfortable with. So if you’re up for a new challenge, dive deeper as we breakdown two of Ashtanga yoga’s seven headstand poses: Bound Headstand and Double Arm Headstand.

Please note: Everyone falls out of headstands as you begin your upside down journey, the pose takes time, effort, and patience. So don’t fret if you don’t get it on the first try! Before you begin, grab a friend for safety and stabilization, or set your mat up near a wall for added support. The importance of these poses are to create strength and stability; so it is far more important to strive for solid and short, than strained and long. Feel free to follow along with our video demonstration to practice or read ahead for the step by step! {PS… shaking is a good thing!}

  • Bound Headstand
    • Sanskrit Name: Baddha Hasta Sirsasana A
    • Begin in tabletop, with your hands and knees on the mat; lower your elbows to the earth, interlacing your fingers in a tight cupped shape, small enough for an egg.
      bound headstand cg

      Bound Headstand

    • Bring the crown of your head to your mat, while placing the back of your head into the cup of your palms. Press the edges of your forearms and wrists firmly into the floor, and support your neck muscles by relaxing your shoulders down away from your ears.
    • Lift your knees to straighten your legs and slowly begin to walk your feet in closer to your elbows.
    • Work to get your hips in line over your shoulders, while lifting your back away from your head and neck, maintaining the weight on your arms.
    • If your upper back is lifted and your neck feels long, slowly begin to lift one leg up to begin – then practice over time to lift the other, coming into a full headstand. Hold for 3 – 5 steady breaths.
  • Double Arm Headstand
    • Sanskrit Name:Baddha Hasta Sirsasana B
    • Once you’ve mastered Bound Headstand, challenge yourself by moving onto Sirsasana B! Both of these headstands have different arm foundations, but the head stays  in the same position: weight is directly onto the crown of the head, with all four sides of the neck even.
    • To begin, bend your arms and grab hold of your forearms in a natural clasp, near the crook of your elbows; your forearms should now be parallel.
    • Gently place the crown of your head in front of your forearms, so that your forehead is touching the front arm.
    • Stay on your knees as you begin to shift your shoulders over your neck to create length, while using your elbows as a grounding force into the mat.
    • Tuck your toes under to lift & straighten your legs, and tip toe towards your arms, creating one long straight line from stacked hips, to shoulders, neck and head.
    • Resist the urge to collapse by rooting down into the earth with your elbows, while lifting your upper back away from your ears.
    • Stay here, or if you are stable, move into your headstand variation.
    • There are many ways to lift off, but we will be demonstrating the pike version. Engage your core and slowly begin to lift both legs off of the floor. Keeping them straight, lift to stacked position and hold for 3-5 steady breaths.

Like anything, allow yourself time to practice, this is challenging stuff! But next time you need to shake yourself awake, or reclaim your mood, take ten minutes and get upside down – we guarantee it will change your outlook.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply