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.