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Strike a Yoga Pose: Iron Cross Headstand

Hooray! We've finally made it to the seventh headstand in Ashtanga Yoga's Second Series. Of course, you've got to end with a bang, and this pose called Iron Cross Headstand is no joke. I think it's the most difficult of the seven headstands, so don't get frustrated if you have a hard time staying balanced. Keep practicing this one until you've conquered it. If you have a sensitive noggin, fold your mat in half to cushion the top of your head.

Sanskrit Name: Mukta Hasta Sirsana C
English Translation: Free Hands Headstand Posture C
Also Called: Iron Cross Headstand

Are you ready to give it a try? If so


  • Begin with your hands and knees on the mat. Lower the top of your head to the floor so it's in front of your hands, just as if you were about to do a Tripod Headstand. Then walk your hands out to the sides of your head, keeping your elbows bent slightly, as shown in the photo to the right.
  • Once your head and hands feel stable, straighten both legs and walk your feet as close as you can towards your head.
  • Shift your hips over your shoulders and use your abs to lift both legs up into the air, or gently kick them up. Keep your legs together and point your toes.
  • Now here's the tough part. Walk your hands so your arms are straight and your head is in the middle.
  • Hold this pose for five deep breaths. Then slowly lower your feet to the floor.
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