Learn to Headstand: 9 Tips to Practice at Home

by Daniela Phillips | March 25, 2020 6:25 pm

There is something indescribably intimidating about headstands. For some, it happens
naturally, but for others, it may take up to 12 months of practice, while learning to fall and
recover and how to let go of your fear. Regardless of how long it takes you, the benefits of
headstands are undeniable. Headstands strengthen your core, engaging obliques, rectus
abdominus and the transverse abdominus. They also increase upper body strength and
stamina. Arm, shoulder and back muscles work hard to keep the pressure off of your head
and neck.

Here are 9 tips to help you practice headstands at home:

1. Setting Your Foundation

Setting your foundation means understanding how to use and activate your arms and
shoulders, protecting the joint and neck. The weight of your headstand should be
predominantly on your forearms, not on your head. Therefore, if you feel that all your
weight is on your head, readjust.

2. Tuck It In

Headstands are the best way to increase the strength of your core by tilting your pelvis,
pulling on your rib cage and practicing extending your legs parallel to the floor. If you
can hold your ‘tuck while doing all of this, you’re on the way to a very comfortable
headboard practice. “Explore your own strength in your ‘tuck’, the more comfortable
you feel in that part of the pose and the easier it will be to extend your legs in the air “,
says Cassandra T. Hiett, yoga blogger at 1Day2Write and Write My X .

3. Let Go of Your Fear

The biggest challenge you’ll find in practicing your headstands will be letting go of the
anxiety and fear that the position might cause you. It’s very common. Think of it this
way: headstands are a standing pose, but upside down. As trivial as it may sound, once
you absorb that idea, you’ll notice your body letting go of all awkwardness and you’ll
master headstands in no time.

4. Don’t Rush

Trying to kick your legs in the air when you don’t have time to feel what is really going
on will only cause injuries and will not help you understand what is not working for you.
When you lay the groundwork and lift your hips, keep your feet on the and practice
going up and out again. Take note of how your body weight moves over your arms and
head, pull your navel into your spine and watch your hips lift up a little bit.

5. Keep Your Eyes Open

Focusing on a point that isn’t moving to steady your gaze and your body is also
extremely helpful when attempting headstands. Keep your eyes open and don’t let your
mind drift away.

6. Exit Slowly

“One of the most important parts of a headstand is exiting slowly and with ease rather
than thudding your legs to the ground “, says Theresa Ferrell, health writer at Britstudent and NextCoursework . Exiting a headstand slowly means you have built enough strength
and coordination.

7. Being Weightless

This is absolutely crucial to ensure that you do not hurt your neck or shoulders. Once
you know your foundations and stop to pay attention and focus on using the correct
muscles and alignment in the headstand prep positions, it’s time to lift your toes up into
the air. Imagine you are lifting, not pushing down.

8. Stay Low at the End

Always keep your head down at the end of a headstand! Stay low after the excitement
of achieving a headstand, otherwise you might get lightheaded or feel a rush of blood to
your head.

9. Keep Practicing

As people say, practice makes perfect. No one will ever achieve greatness or without
practice. We often avoid postures that we know we cannot do now or those that we
consider difficult or unnatural, and that is exactly why we should practice them. It’s not
easy to push yourself every day, but try to persevere.

It’s hard to look cool on your head. However, headstands pull you away from your fears of
looking silly or trying something new and difficult. These difficult and humbling poses do
wonders to pull you into non-attachment, and let’s not forget that they literally provide a
new perspective!

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