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Strike a Yoga Pose: Bound Headstand

We've been doing a lot of grounding yoga poses like Warrior 1 and Pigeon that work on your leg strength and flexibility. Let's turn things around - literally - and talk about headstands. This is a fun inversion to practice, because you can work on your balance and build the strength in your upper body. I do this pose if I have a headache, stuffy nose, or if I'm feeling sad or tired. All the blood rushing to my face is so invigorating, and standing upside down gives me a whole new perspective on life.

Try this pose, but do only what you feel comfortable with. You don't even have to lift your legs off the ground — you can just work on building the strength in your upper back and arms. You can also do this pose in front of a wall or with a trusty friend who can spot you.

Sanskrit Name: Baddha Hasta Sirsasana A
English Translation: Bound Hands Headstand Posture A
Also Called: Bound Headstand
  • Begin with your hands and knees on the mat. Lower your elbows to the floor and interlace your fingers, bringing your lowest pinky in front of the other pinky, forming a semi-circle with your hands.
  • Place the BACK of your head against your palms, and the top of your head on the mat, so your skull is vertical with the floor. Once your head and forearms feel stable, straighten both legs and walk you feet towards your face as far as you can.
  • Shift your hips over your shoulders, and keep you elbows planted firmly on the mat. Lift your right leg straight up towards the sky, and stay here, or work on lifting your left leg up too, coming into full headstand.

Getting into headstand and being able to stay up is a fun challenge to practice, but it can be a little scary. Everybody has a hard time at first and everyone falls out of it. It's no big deal - you just have to keep on trying until your body gets it. Once you do find your balance, the feeling is unbelievable!

Join The Conversation
scratch5 scratch5 10 years
I love inversions and doing handstand, but headstand just have never felt good to me.
SU3 SU3 10 years
That's awesome - I can only do it against a wall though. I need the practice!
jianna jianna 10 years
I used to do headstands all the time as a kid. Although, i could also bend backwards and touch my foot to my chin. ... needless to say I sure can't do either anymore xD
Fitness Fitness 10 years
mangopasssion - I LOVE that you mentioned menstruation and inversions (you just sparked a post idea!) Some people will tell you that you shouldn't do any inversions when you have you're period because the flow is heading down and out, and inversions reverse the natural flow of your blood. But it's not like you're hanging out in headstand for hours, so I think it has to do with your personal preference. Some woman may love the way inversions feel when they have their period, and some woman may not, so it's totally up to you.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
juliulie - some people get dizzy when they're head goes below they're heart.
peachygirl peachygirl 10 years
You're not alone Julieulie - whenever I attempt this posture I get a headache and feel nauseous. Maybe there's something wrong with both of us!
mangopassion mangopassion 10 years
Fit I totally agree this is a great pose but I think it is really important to mention that inversions should not be done while menstruating. Also I started against the wall-with my knuckles, heels and buttocks touching the wall. That really help the confidence thing.
AzureLuna AzureLuna 10 years
I agree with Fit, This is an amazing pose to rejuvenate the body. Not to mention relaxing.
julieulie julieulie 10 years
Everyone always raves about doing headstands for headaches, etc., but I find that doing anything in which my head is even slightly inverted just makes me nauseous and dizzy.... even something like trying to roll my back out on a balance ball. I wonder if I am doing something wrong, or if there is something physiologically wrong with me!
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