Headstand made easy
Headstand, this posture seen as terrifying and attractive at the same time isn't as out of reach as it seems. The first thing we need to overcome is the mental barrier that build as soon as the time approach in class where we are going to do headstand. The idea of being upside down is scary as it is not something than we are asked to do in our day to day living, unfortunatly. Once we understand the mechanics of the posture and build the strenght to do the posture, it creates confidence to be able to do it.
The first thing to understand is that the weight isn't on the head but on the shoulders. It requires shoulders strenght to hold and lift up. Shoulders aren't the only once acting in the process. The abdominals plays a part to stabilise and lift into headstand.
To overcome the fear to stand on your head, a posture like prasarita paddotonasana can be a good starter. This inversion gets you used to the feeling of being upside down with your head resting on the floor. It also helps with core engagement in an upside down position and the feeling of the right shoulder position and stabilisation. Taka the time to practice a posture like prasarita paddotonasana to build confidence.
In the early stage, you can practice headstand against a wall so you fall all the way back in your first attempt to headstand.
Start on your knees, interlock the fingers, place the elbows and hands on the floor.
Place the crown of the head on the floor in front of your hand, who act like a support.
Come up onto the toes. Rest in the position just to get used to the upside down position.
Press the elbows against the floor to activate the shoulder girdle. It also prevents the shoulders to collapse to the ears.
Once you are comfortable, walk the feet closer to the head, bringing the hips over the head. Engage the core, suck the lower belly in, rib cage in, keep on pushing the elbows against the floor. Take a few breath. Build body awareness and focus. If you need a rest come down.
If you are comfortable, bring one knee as close to the chest as possible using your core. Hold there for a couple of long deep breath, bring the leg down and do the same on the other side.
When you are ready, bring both legs to the chest. Engage the core, push the elbows down, bring the body wheight slightly forward, use the out breath to lift up. It automatically activates deeper and stronger core stabilisation. The lift up come naturally as you build more shoulder and core strenght.
Once you can lift up both feet off the mat, slowly work on bringing the knees higher up until the legs are straight up.
It is important to practice control and stability in the posture, learning step by step rather than burning stages and jumping into it. This way you will refine sensitivity to your body, tune in, build concentration, persistance and dedication (without obsession).
The physical limitation can easily be overcome with right practice. To summarise it all it takes is confidence, strong shoulders, strong core and strong concentration.
Like any other posture it takes patience, understanding and practice to do it.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the practice!