MY HEADSTAND EXPERIENCE
The first Headstand I did was Tripod Headstand. The first variation of Tripod Headstand is when we touch our knees to our arms (like a crow pose shape) is a great start when doing Headstand. Then, when my upper body strength developed, and when my control of the body when upside down became better, I moved on to the traditional Headstand.
The Headstand should not be a pose we jump into. The risk is to put heavy and moving weight into our neck and accidents may happen if one falls out of the pose fast and uncontrol. I always think of doing Asanas as a ¨safer sport among the sports¨ but I have heard of incidents while falling out of a Headstand. I personally have never fallen out of a Headstand, because that is a scary idea to me. At first, I didn't even think I would want to do any Headstand. However, I approached really slowly towards the pose.
Now, I like doing Headstand. Especially after a long flight, it feels good being upside down and get the blood away from the legs. Headstand is a great pose not only for the sake of being upside down but also great for body awareness and improve upper back strength and core strength. We don't stand on our Head in Headstand. We stand on our shoulders and arms, with great strength from core and legs to stay in the pose.
BEST WAY TO SUPPORT TRIPOD HEADSTAND
You can start with a Headstand near the wall, yes, but I recommend NOT to kick and just fall into the wall. The wall is a safety net that we don't want to jump into. Actually be near the wall, but try not to touch it.
However, with 2 columns of blocks to prop a Headstand, you can do it without a wall. This is the best way to start doing a Tripod Headstand. It gives full support to our shoulders and free space to the neck. Now that you don't have to carry so much stress on your neck, you can be calm and observe the position of your arms: they should be like in Chaturanga Dandasana. Put your knee on the upper arms very close to the shoulders, and flex your knees deeply like in Crow Pose.
Depends on the blocks you use, and the length of your arms and neck, you can decide how many blocks will you use. I would like to use 2 columns of 3 blocks so that my arms can be in Chaturanga position. I can also use a blanket to support my head.
STEP BY STEP TO BUILD THE SUPPORT:
1. Set up the Props, keep the 2 columns of blocks with a distance as wide as your head between the inner sides of them. So that they can support your whole shoulders.
2. Put your hands on the floor, right behind the blocks. Ideally, with your fingers point to the blocks, and middle finger touching the block.
3. Keep your elbows towards each other, don't let them fall out. This is our shoulder joint trying to ¨externally rotate¨. The same action in Chaturanga Dandasana.
4. From an all four position, lean forward so that you can put your shoulders on the blocks.
5. Put the crown of your head, the top, not the forehead, down to the floor.
6. Keep the structrure that you have set up as above, then lift your knees off the floor and start walking close to your arms. Put one knee and then maybe the other knee too on your arms.
GETTING MORE INTO TRIPOD HEADSTAND
This was the way I learned how to do a Headstand when I started. I did this without blocks though. What I do here is to lift 1 leg up from my arm, and bring that leg up until the other knee lifts off the arm too. If you feel stable, touch the foot to the straight leg and try to touch both feet together to straighten both legs. If you feel like that's it, just bring your feet back one by one.
Another way to go up with your legs: lift both knees off your arms and touch them together. Raise your knees up and then your feet up.
Thank you for reading! More about how to Prop Up Inversions in Yoga:
About Inversion in Yoga - Halasana: Plow Pose
Shoulder Stand - Salamba Sarvanganasana
Handstand in Yoga - Adho Mukha Vrkasana
Sirsasana - Tripod Headstand
Sirsasana - ¨Traditional¨ Headstand
See how I use basic Yoga props to do ANY Yoga poses in my Prop Up Project:
Yoga Poses in the Sun Salutations
Prop Up Project from Ha My Yoga to help you do more than 80 Yoga poses easier and more effectively with simple Yoga props like block, strap, wall, blanket, bolster, etc. So you can really enjoy doing Yoga!
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