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Strike a Yoga Pose: Headstand A and B

Inversions are some of my favorite types of yoga poses because I love how energized I feel getting blood circulating to my head. Plus overcoming the challenge of putting your head where your feet should be is quite satisfying. Talk about an ego boost. It should come as no surprise that inversions give you a new and interesting perspective on life.

Since I have shown you all Bound Headstand A, let's move onto Bound Headstand B. Both poses are part of the closing sequence in Ashtanga yoga, and they come right after Extended Fish pose.

Sanskrit Name: Sirsasana A and B
English Translation: Head Standing Posture A and B
Also Called: Bound Headstand and Half Bound Headstand

Keep reading to find out how to do this inversion.

  • 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 so both pinkies are on the floor, forming a semicircle 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 to the floor. Once your head and forearms feel stable, straighten both legs and walk your feet towards your face as far as you can.
  • Shift your hips over your shoulders, and keep your 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. If you feel up to the challenge, you can try lifting both legs up simultaneously.
  • Eventually you can work on holding this for 25 deep breaths, but start off with five at first and work your way up to the magic number of 25.
  • To move into Headstand B, slowly lower both legs down halfway, so that your legs are parallel with the floor, staying here. If it's too difficult to keep your legs straight, just bend your knees slightly. After five breaths, lower your feet all the way down to the ground.

Fit's Tips: Just as in Extended Fish pose, it's hard to tell if your legs are in the right position, so have a friend watch you do Headstand B to make sure your legs are parallel with the floor.

Also, if you're worried about falling over, do this pose in front of a wall. Watch this video to learn how.

bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
Headstands are my favorite inversions (versus forearm stands and handstands) although I am still practicing against the wall at the moment - don't feel confident enough to do it in the middle of the floor yet!
ginafly ginafly 9 years
I'm pretty experienced with this pose and would add a couple safety notes: 1) Don't turn your head for any reason. 2) If you are not against the wall but do lose your balance and fall over (it's easy to be a little overconfident after you've had a few successes), just tuck your chin into your upper chest and let your body curl into a ball to somersault over. That way you won't injure anything. I always leave space to allow for this rolling to happen in the event I lose my balance. It doesn't happen so much anymore, but in the past when it has, I hit the floor completely unharmed and ready to try again!
Tati500 Tati500 9 years
woah that doesnt look safe...I cant wait to attempt that!
almostloli almostloli 9 years
looks WOW (WOW as in.. difficult)
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