Headstand is one of my favorite poses to practice each day.  It immediately brings me to the present and allows me to breathe fully.  You have to maintain focus here to stay here.  When first doing the pose, you may chose to use a wall.  When you are ready to move away, simply stay balanced with knees into your torso.  When done properly, this pose helps you feel light and takes very little effort.  When you are upside down continue to keep your awareness in your feet and this will lift you up.  Remember, almost no weight is on the head as you begin.  Keep most of the weight in your forearms and just a light pressure on the head.  After practicing headstand, you will want to take child’s pose then move into shoulderstand.  This counter stretches the neck.  Enjoy one of our favorite calming inversions…

Sanskrit:  Sirsasana

Physical Benefits:

  • revitalizes the body


  • improves circulation
  • aid to sleep
  • activates the pituitary gland
  • regulates menstruation
  • regulates digestion
  • relieve urinary problems
  • strengthens the neck, shoulders and arms
  • relieves tired legs
  • soothes the nervous system

Emotional Benefits:

  • beneficial if suffering from depression, anxiety or general spaciness
  • centers the emotional body
  • warming
  • develops concentration and focus
  • clears the mind

How to Practice:

  1. kneel on the floor in hands and knees position- make certain the area around you is free of any objects in case you roll over
  2. place your forearms down and clasp your elbows with your hands- this is the proper distance for your elbow placement for you to balance
  3. make a basket with your hands so elbows and hands make a triangle
  4. place your head so the crown (top) of your head is on the floor, while the rest of your head is supported by your hands
  5. lift your hips to the ceiling so you are in downward dog with the legs
  6. draw your shoulders up toward the ceiling
  7. walk your feet close to your head and eventually bend your knees into your chest
  8. press your forearms down, lift your shoulders- most of the weight should be on your forearms, not the head
  9. when you are ready straighten your legs and raise them up- draw your core in for support
  10. press through the balls of your feet and internally rotate your legs (legs spiral in)
  11. stay here a few seconds up to 10 minutes

Contraindications (when should you NOT practice this pose):

  • high blood pressure
  • first few days of your period
  • neck or back problems
  • migraines


  • begin a few inches away from the wall and follow the same instructions above
  • place a blanket under the head and forearms
  • take the pose without ever bringing your feet off the floor


Elizabeth Delaney