After six months of practicing yoga it was time to move onto headstands. This was a poses that I wasn’t confident in doing for fear of falling over and hurting myself. I avoided getting both legs up (just raising one leg at a time and not kicking off and would rely on walls to catch myself and not being able to stay in the pose for long. So after a few months of practicing them I wasn’t progressing any further.
When on holiday last year in January I went down to he beach to try them free standing. After numerous attempts of kicking one leg up and then trying two legs I started to understand what parts of the body had to work with others. I fall numerous times but the sand seemed so feel safer than concrete.
I started to understand that’s it’s all about where you place your hands and head. The neck has to be supported as it is going to hold your entire body weight once you are up in the air. Placement of your foremans and hands is critical if you’re going to be resting all the weight on neck.
I had to remind myself that yoga isn’t about getting into the posture or how long you can stay in it or how good it looks; it’s about the process of getting into it. Understanding what muscles you are using and connecting the breathe, body and mind.
After many weeks trying them I started to get the hold on getting my legs up and staying up with the support of a wall behind me. When we attempted headstands in class I edged my feet and legs off the wall a little each time to try and balance. It’s progress over perfection that reminded me not to rush as I could end up hurting myself.
Fast forward a year down the track and am happy to say I can get into a headstand unsupported by a wall and hold the pose for a considerable amout of time. Always trying out different legs variations and kick offs to get legs up. This pose releases a lot of blood to the head and the “rush” from them is a great high. It’s pays when you come out of them tonrest in child’s poses to allow the blood to return to normal flow.
Headstands are fun and offer a different perspective of the world. We should spend more time upside down.
Key things to remember:
- Placement of foremans and hands
- Support neck and head
- Engage core muscles
- Try one leg at a time until confident.
- Use a wall for support when first starting out.
- You are bound to fall out at some point. Learn safe ways to come down
- Be aware of what’s around you.
- Return to child’s poses after to allow blood flow to return to normal.
- It’s not a race or getting into the pose the fastest. This can cause damage to your body.