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Yoga Pose of the Week Palms Up Headstand

Strike a Yoga Pose: Palms Up Headstand

One of the reasons I'm a huge fan of Ashtanga Yoga is the many variations of headstand involved in the practice — seven to be exact. Palms Up Headstand is the sixth in the Ashtanga headstand series. I'm not going to lie to you; this one is pretty tough. As with all things though, practice makes perfect, so keep trying until you can stay balanced. If you have a sensitive head, you may want to fold your mat in half to add some extra cushioning.

Sanskrit Name: Mukta Hasta Sirsana B
English Translation: Free Hands Headstand Posture B
Also Called: Palms Up Headstand

How do you get into it? To find out

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  • 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. You'll know your head is in the right position because your elbows will be directly over your wrists and you'll be able to see your hands.
  • Once your head and hands feel stable, straighten both legs out. Then straighten your arms in front of you. Your hands should be shoulder-width distance apart with your palms facing up. Spread your fingers as wide as you can to provide more stability.
  • Shift your hips over your shoulders and actively press the back of your hands firmly into the mat. Use your hands and your abs to lift both legs up into the air. If you can't lift your legs up, then gently kick one leg up at a time, coming into Palms Up Headstand. Keep your legs together and point your toes.
  • Hold this pose for five deep breaths. Then slowly lower your feet to the floor.
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