Yoga Poses To Prepare For Headstand

Feeling groggy? Feeling groggy? Need some help with refocusing your attention? Inversions can solve all of these problems!

Inversions such as forearm stands, headstands, shoulder stands, and others can help improve your health and circulation by draining the lymphatic system and resetting the nervous system. How do you begin? Inversions are intimidating. Start practicing inversions by taking part in the 30-Day Yoga Challenge. When you practice Downward Facing Dog each day, your body will quickly become accustomed to being upside down!

These seven introductory positions will prepare your body for being upside down after you warm up with a quick practice.

Dogs that face downward

The headstand is a great pose for the whole body, but to prepare, pay attention to your shoulders, core, and back. As you extend your shoulders, press the mat away and lengthen your shoulder blades down your back.

Try rolling forward on your toes and shifting your weight more forward into your shoulders. This will help you feel how strong your upper body is. To increase your stability and strength, pull your navel toward your spine. Test yourself and see how much force you can put in your downward-facing dog.

High Plank

As you roll into the high Plank from Downward Dog, extend your shoulders a few inches beyond your wrists. As you press the mat back, engage your entire hand (including the fingertips) and lengthen through your shoulders and neck. Reduce the pressure on your wrists.

Rotate your upper arms inward and bring the elbow creases together. It is an excellent opportunity to move from Downward Dog back into Plank and then back again. This will warm up your core and shoulder girdle. In preparation for shoulder stands, you should focus on these two muscle groups.

Dolphin Plank

This minor change to the previous pose actually represents a major shift in focus. As you flow through Chaturanga, bring your forearms to the mat.

You can either keep your palms facing down on the mat in a straight line with your elbows, or you can tie your hands in front of your face. Keep your elbows at least shoulder distance apart. Draw your core towards your spine in order to support your lower back. Try not to sag throughout the lower half.

You can also try to roll forward on your toes and make small shifts back and forth to stretch your shoulders. Push the mat out by using your shoulder joints to extend.

Dolphin Pose

From Dolphin plank, bring your toes three feet from your elbows while keeping your legs straight. This pose is best done with warm hamstrings. Make sure you have your lower back and hamstrings prepared for this pose.

You should maintain the same level of core engagement as in the previous position. It’s easy for you to forget!

You can also focus on your core by using your breath to walk on your toes, pull your hips up to the ceiling, and continue to move your ears away from your shoulder to prevent any collapse in this area.

Headstand Preparation

As you bring your legs as close to your elbows as possible, this pose intensifies the previous one. This is when your weight is mostly centered on your shoulders. Now, place your head down.

By interlacing your fingertips on the mat before you, lower the crown of your skull to the floor. Do not apply any pressure. Make very light contact with the floor, and then cradle your back skull with interlaced fingertips.

Keep your neck long and strong, and engage your forearms. These two muscle groups will carry the weight on your body. This pose would allow a friend to slip a credit card between the head and floor if they happened upon you.

One-Legged Headstand

In the previous pose, you may have felt that your weight was shifted to the upper body. You should now be able to lift a foot without having to go too much weight to the shoulders.

Test your core strength by lifting one foot as high as possible. You can switch legs until you feel comfortable lifting one foot off the mat without compromising your neck and head safety.

Headstand Against the Wall

Credit to Kristin McGee

Position yourself so that your back faces the wall when you are in a one-legged position. Draw the knee of one foot into your chest to lift it off the ground. Draw the knee of the other leg into your chest.

Your forearms, shoulders, and both feet are now lifted off the mat. Try to straighten and lengthen your back by concentrating all your weight into a ball.

Use your breath and core strength to lift one leg, then the other, into the air. Rest your heels on the wall behind for support.

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