The headstand - Sirsasana: why you should change your perspective

Today we would like to introduce you to a new asana - but not just any, but the so-called king of asanas: Right, today it's about the headstand. In some yoga traditions, the headstand is part of the basic row. Beginners fear it as much as it admires it. After all, a mistake in execution can certainly go wrong when there is so much weight on the cervical spine... right?

We clarify! :)

You, me and my grandma: who is headstand suitable for?

The headstand is definitely a challenging posture and should not be tried out on your own and without preparation, especially as a beginner.

In principle, however, almost anyone can learn and practice the headstand, apart from a few contraindications. It is important that the asana is performed correctly and that enough strength is built up in the shoulders and arms beforehand so that the cervical spine is not strained.

Who can't do the headstand?

As already mentioned, there are also a few contraindications for the headstand. Under these circumstances you should avoid the headstand:

  • if you are pregnant
  • For high blood pressure
  • As long as there is a shoulder, neck or headache
  • or you just feel “not 100% fit”.
  • For known problems with the cervical spine

If you are unsure, we strongly recommend talking to a doctor - in this case, it's better to be safe than sorry!

Is the headstand healthy?

With so many contraindications and prohibitions, the question quickly arises as to whether it would be better not to do headstands at all. Here we can reassure you: In fact, there are a lot of positive effects on the body, but also on an energetic and mental level.

Sirsasana promotes…

  • the blood flow
  • digestion
  • the ability to concentrate
  • coordination and balance

Aside from the physical effects, the headstand also gives us

  • willpower
  • confidence
  • and courage

In fact, the headstand has been used to heal and prevent nervous disorders. It has been proven that the yoga position is good for the brain and promotes the networking of different nerve cells.

Is the headstand dangerous because blood flows to the head?

We are often asked whether the headstand is dangerous because the blood flows into the head and accumulates there. But here, too, we can reassure you: This is just a myth that stubbornly persists.

How it works: Step-by-step instructions for your yoga headstand

Headstand - preliminary exercises

As already mentioned, a certain tension and strength in the upper part of the body is particularly important, which is why we would like to share a few preliminary exercises with you before we start the real headstand.

To build up the necessary strength, the following are suitable, for example:

  • Navasana (the boat),
  • the dolphin
  • or Uttanasana (the forward bend)

Here we go: headstand instructions

Are you brave and have you built up the necessary strength in your arms and core? Then it can go!

  1. Grab your yoga mat, take off your jewelry, and be sure to warm up properly. A few sun salutations are an excellent warm-up because your entire body is mobilized and all muscles are warmed up. Please do not practice the headstand without warming up first!
  2. Begin on all fours. Make sure that there is a right angle between your legs and hips and between your shoulders and arms.
  3. Now you can place your elbows where your hands were before. It is important that your elbows are shoulder-width apart. This way you get the best possible stability - you need it right away when it comes to the headstand.
  4. Now move your forearms forward towards each other - keeping your elbows where they are. This creates a triangle between your arms. Here you can interlace your fingers.
  5. Place your head in your hands with the back of your neck almost perpendicular to the floor. Make sure you find a stable and comfortable position. It takes a bit of practice at first, but after a while you'll do it automatically.
  6. Now stretch your legs out on the floor with tension. Make sure that from now on the weight is mainly distributed on the elbows and not on the head!
  7. Now you can walk with your feet to your elbows until your body is straight over your head. For starters, you can either stay here or move on.
  8. If you want to go further, bend one leg now and bring your knee up. Lift the other foot off the floor and bring your knees together over you. This allows for extra support and automatically tightens your core, making it easier for you to lift your legs straight at some point.
  9. If you want, stretch your legs up. Make sure the strength comes from your stomach, back and shoulders.

Done - you are now in a headstand. :)

To keep your balance, it's best to concentrate on a stationary point and keep the tension in the middle of the body. It is also important that you only stay in the position for as long as you feel comfortable - a few seconds are enough at the beginning.

If it doesn't work perfectly the first time, the following applies, as always with yoga: just don't lose patience. Go at your own pace, don't compare yourself to others and most of all have fun.

All the best!

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