How To Progress To Yoga Headstand

Rest & Recovery

Rest and recovery is an essential part of the yoga headstand progression. During your yoga journey it’s important to take regular breaks for rest and reflection. After each practice session, give yourself time to relax and let your body recover so that you can get the most out of every asana. Taking a break from an intense yoga sequence can also help prevent injury because you’re giving yourself time to rest after strenuous sections of a practice. Rest periods can come in the form of allowing yourself to fully inhabit each posture before transitioning, opting for gentle practices instead of more vigorous ones on certain days, or spending a few extra minutes in Savasana (Corpse Pose). Additionally, getting enough sleep throughout the week is an important part of recovery; failing to do so could ultimately impede progress towards mastering the yoga headstand.


Some variations of the yoga headstand you can try to challenge yourself are changing the arm or leg position, or trying a one-legged variation. For example, if you start with your knees tucked in close to your chest, instead move them farther away from your body and make sure that your back is straight. You can also try lifting one leg up into the air for an extra challenge. Another variation is to keep your arms close together and interlace your fingers so that you rest mostly on the knuckles of either hand. This creates a ‘tripod’ shape and make it harder to balance. Finally, another more dynamic way to practice is known as a float back, which starts in a standard headstand with hands flat on the floor for stability then floating back onto the shoulders while still inverted.


Yoga headstand, or sirsasana, is an advanced yoga pose that requires balance and strength. It might not be easy for everyone to get into the pose as intended, so it’s important to understand some modifications and tips on how to progress through the pose in order to make it more accessible.

First and foremost, start with finding a wall to use as your support while learning the posture, since it plays a major part in balancing your body while inverted. Place your mat perpendicular to the wall and move closer as needed – when in doubt, remember less is always better than more. Next, come into your supported downward dog position – bases of big toes and palms of hands pressing against the floor as you extend your hips up towards the ceiling. Once you find yourself stable enough, engage your core and slowly shift your weight onto one side until tiptoes lightly touch the wall ” this slight shift will allow further support for most people and make them feel more steady in their transition into a headstand. Swing those legs up one at a time from there: hug those elbows against your ribs and gently squeeze inner thighs together as you bring them towards each other before setting them off on either side of you with feet stacked up above. Keep practicing that transition until all four limbs firmly press against the ground for balance before going deeper into full expression of sirsasana.

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When practicing a Yoga Headstand (also known as Sirsasana), there are some important safety precautions that should always be taken in order to prevent any potential injuries. First and foremost, it is advised to have a qualified yoga teacher or instructor present to demonstrate the correct form and technique of the pose before attempting it yourself. Secondly, make sure you have access to a padded mat and enough open space where you can stretch out your arms and legs without any obstacles nearby. Additionally, ensure you are wearing clothing that won’t hinder your movement and don’t forget about using props such as blocks for stability and proper alignment if needed. Before performing the pose, practice gentle stretching movements around the shoulders, neck, legs, hips and core region in order to warm up your body properly. Finally, listen closely to your body throughout the process ” if at anytime you start feeling uncomfortable or experience sharp pain sensations ” discontinue immediately and rest until your body feels ready to continue practising again.


When progressing to yoga headstand, it is important to properly use props such as a wall, blankets, bricks or blocks for support. Since the pose can be difficult at first and may cause strain on the neck and shoulders, using props will provide assistance in both balance and alignment. Using a wall for support can help you kick up into the position without having to put too much weight onto your arms. Blankets are helpful for placing under the shoulders and head to provide more softness and more stability. Blocks are beneficial because they come in different sizes and ideal heights so that you can find perfect placement under your hands for better leverage.

Props should never be used as a crutch or excuse not to work with your body’s strength but instead they should be used as a way of safely supporting you during practice ” even if it is just to get familiar with this pose before attempting it without support or assistance. Make sure that your prop supports are stable and secure so that there is no possibility of losing balance mid-pose and getting injured. Finally, make sure you listen to your body’s limits at all times so that you don’t overdo it.

Common Mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when trying to perfect yoga headstands is focusing too much on how their legs will look in the pose instead of how their entire body feels in the pose. This is not a pose that should be forced and is actually very easy to balance in if you take your time. You should also be aware of your shoulder placement, making sure they are firmly engaged and pressed into the ground at all times during practice to maintain proper posture throughout.

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Another common mistake is forgetting to engage the lower abdominals throughout this pose as well. This helps to ensure that your muscular system works together and can support yourself with ease no matter what position or angle you choose. It is also important to focus on staying present with yourself during practice, not just getting frustrated with what does not work immediately but instead actively working on applying the subtleties of the pose until you get it down.

Finally, do not forget about engaging your glutes! The glutes play a key role in helping you lift off into the headstand without straining yourself or having difficulties finding proper balance afterwards. Keeping them tight and engaged will improve your stability significantly more than just using your arms alone to hold yourself up.

Common Questions

Q: What muscles does the headstand strengthen?

A: The headstand strengthens a variety of muscles, including the core muscles, arms, shoulders and legs. It also helps to build balance and coordination. When done properly the headstand increases strength and flexibility in all areas of the body.

Q: What should I do to make sure I’m doing the pose correctly?
Kick your feet up as if you were doing a handstand, but keep your back straight. Draw both legs together as much as possible and press firmly through your hands until your elbows are bent at right angles or slightly more than that. Engage your entire abdominal area (your core), tuck your chin to your chest slightly, relax the neck and hold this position for several breaths before returning to a regular standing position.

Q: Is there anything specific I should know about proper breathing while in the headstand?
Yes! It’s critical that you continue to breathe deeply while in the headstand position. Your breath should be slightly calmer than it would normally be in other yoga poses. Avoid forcing yourself by concentrating on one spot in order to keep air moving throughout your entire body while in Headstand ” inhale deeply into the pelvic floor, then slowly exhale out of your chest. This helps ensure that your body is getting enough oxygen so that it can stay balanced properly throughout this challenging pose.

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