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  • Writer's pictureCorinne Doret

Headstand Practice

From using a support to a free Headstand (Sirsasana)

HEADSTAND requires core and upper body strength. We also need flexible/strong hamstrings and hip flexors to either lift up with bent knees, by kicking up, or by lifting with both straight legs. Spacial awareness will also help!

You would want to feel strong and sturdy in the preparation poses such as Down Dog, Plank on Forearms, Plank variations, Boat, Forearm Balance etc... Mastery of the Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana) and its variations is a prerequisite.

Headstand is not for everyone and they are alternative poses that you can do instead (ask your teacher).


Work your way to free Headstand


Ideal if you do not want to involve your neck or shoulders


A restorative practice, also if you do not want to involve your neck or shoulders. This variation can be practised with legs straight and a plank is placed between the ropes and upper thighs to secure the pelvis.

Headstand Variations

Many of the Headstand variations can be practised at the wall.

Free Headstand

Limits Headstand: weak & tight shoulders, tight hamstrings and pelvis, weak core.

Principles and actions: lifting shoulders, stacking, core and legs engaged.

Preparation: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Plank (Utthita Vasisthasana), Plank on forearms, Four-limbed Staff (Chaturanga Dandasana), Boat (Navasana), Half Headstand at the wall, Forearm Balance, all variations and prep work, chest openers, arm and shoulder extensions.

Counter-indication: neck/shoulders issues, HBP, eye conditions, menstruation, type 2 diabetes, ear infection, pregnancy,

You should come down from Headstand if you feel pressure or discomfort in your head, eyes, ears, neck or throat, or if you experience numbness and tingling in the hands or feet, if you become dizzy or light headed.

Be in your Headstand as you stand in Mountain pose (Tadasana).

"If you do not know Tadasana, you do not know Sirsasana at all, though you can stand on your head." B.K.S. Iyengar

Benefits: Headstand builds core and upper body strength. Improves circulation, boost energy, the effect of the gravity is reversed on the internal organs which brings them relief, drain legs (other benefits of inversions please see our Shoulderstand article).



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