1/9/12 - Video: How to do a Headstand

by Zelinda Here's a quick step-by-step video to help you prepare for headstand.

Personal story... I was 10 years into my yoga practice before I managed my first unsupported headstand.  That's not to say that I was actively preparing for headstand for all those years.  For a long time I had no interest in headstand at all.  About 6-7 years into my practice, I started attending Ashtanga classes, and I'd watch with curiosity and awe as my classmates moved into headstand, but I could not figure out how they did it.  That curiosity was enough to make me try to figure it out.  Then in 2009, right around the time I became pregnant with my younger son, I lifted off in my first headstand.  And then I had to take a break from it for a while, since headstand is contraindicated during pregnancy.  Now, 2 years later, I am still working on extending the duration of my headstands, and I'm starting to experiment with some variations.  I tell you all this just to express that, if you are interested in practicing headstand, it may take a long time to figure it out and that's ok.  It's just part of your yogic journey of self-exploration.

Check out the video.  And below the video I've attached a copy of a blog post I wrote at the time I did my first headstand.  It's interesting for me to read that again now and remember how I felt.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, experiences, or memories with headstand.  Please feel free to post a comment.

10/16/09 - My First Headstand

After more than 10 years of practicing yoga, I went up into a freestanding headstand for the first time today.  I didn’t plan to do it, it just happened - and it was the most amazing feeling.

Just a month ago I was first able to do a headstand at the wall and bring my feet away from the wall and balance.  Since I had achieved that stage, I felt comfortable teaching headstand today.  As I was describing and demonstrating the various methods of going up, I suddenly found myself balanced in a headstand with my legs bent at the hips and knees.  It was such a surprise that I said, “Oh my gosh!”  I felt such ease and lightness that I stayed there to regain my composure.  I felt so steady that I decided to try to extend my legs.  And it worked!  I was in complete disbelief.

Yoga teaches us to work without attachment.  That means to work at something for the enjoyment of working, without expectation of the outcome or a reward.  For so many years I observed my classmates go up in headstand and I would use the time to practice dolphin pose to build my strength and flexibility.  Fast forward to today, and without planning or expectation, as I taught headstand to my students, I accomplished it myself.