I guess the simplest way to describe an inversion would be when your heart is below your head. If you’ve been to a yoga class then most likely you’ve practiced the basic inversions like down dog or a forward fold. But what about some of the more advanced ones? Like head-stands, hand-stands or Scorpio pose?
The reason I thought it was important to talk about is because they are insanely good for you! Some of the most hard core traditional yogis do a practice that consists of just meditation and an inversion. But often times you won’t see these poses in regular classes because there are risks of injury if they aren’t practiced safely, but the average person without any existing conditions and a normal body mass index shouldn’t have any problems.
To be honest I have been practicing yoga regularly for almost 10 years and I just started doing headstands about a year ago, the thing is I’ve probably had the functional core strength for most of that time, but because I let my ego get in the way and didn’t want to be embarrassed so I wouldn’t even try them, and I see a lot of that in yoga classes.
The good news is that once you start to practice a hard pose regularly you will see results! Even if it ‘s just for 5 minutes every evening your body does eventually follow suit.
How to Do a Head Stand Below
I have broken down headstand (the way that I have learned it, I’m sure other teachers have different just as effective methods!)
1. Begin in a traditional downward dog, and then come down onto your elbows so your hips are still high in the air.
2. Bring the top of your head down onto the floor and interlace your fingers together, palms are toward your head.
3. Now move your head towards your hands, the back of your head is basically pushed into your hands almost like a little net.
4. Bring your elbows in, they should be in your peripheral view.
5. Keep you hips lifted and come up onto your tippy toes, walk your feet as close to your body as you can.
6. Now lift one foot into the air, and keep that foot flexed.
7. Keeping your core engaged slowly lift up your other foot from the ground, try to keep both feet together and flexed.
8. You’ve done it! Or maybe not, even getting one foot off the ground is great, you can always progress.
Don’t be afraid of falling!! That was the hardest part for me, but after I fell a few (dozen) times you realize that it doesn’t hurt, and it’s actually kind of fun. Plus if you have kids they’ll love to practice with you. I would recommend not using a wall, lots of people begin this way but it actually just slows down your progress because your not engaging your core as much as you would without the wall. Don’t kick your legs up! This is just using momentum and you will more likely just roll right over, slowly lift one leg at a time. If you’re nervous get a friend to assist you, have them place their hands on the sole of your feet but just enough to steady you.