- You’re scared of falling: This is a very real fear and a valid reason for not even attempting headstand, but how will you know whether or not you can balance upside down if you never give it a chance? There are many ways you can do a headstand and avoid the risk of falling. Try one of these: do headstand in front of a wall, have someone spot you, slowly lift into headstand instead of kicking up, or start with a Bound Headstand Prep where your feet never leave the ground (it’s still a headstand if you’re balancing on your head!).
- You don’t have a solid base: Whether you’re doing Bound Headstand (shown in the photo above) or Tripod Headstand with your palms on the ground, your base needs to be strong and stable in order to support the weight of the rest of your body. In Bound Headstand, make sure the heels of your palms are pressed against the back of your head, and your elbows are a few inches away from your ears. In Tripod Headstand, keep your elbows at 90-degree angles. A strong base is the first step in building up to headstand.
Keep on reading to find out what else is preventing you from doing a headstand.
- You have a weak upper body: Although headstand takes a strong sense of balance, a strong upper body is also essential. If you feel like your upper body is weak, you won’t be able to create and hold your stable base. Tone up those biceps, triceps, shoulders, and the muscles in your upper back by doing Three-Legged Dog, one of my favorites —Walking Dolphin Plank, and throw in some of these push-up variations.
- You have a weak core: I’m a fan of slowly lifting into headstand rather than jumping into it, since the momentum of your flailing legs tends to make you lose your balance. Getting into headstand this way is much safer, but since you’re moving slowly, it takes a whole lot of core strength. Start in the Bound Headstand Prep position, with your legs straight and your feet on the floor. Try bending your knees into your chest in the Tuck position. If your midsection isn’t strong enough yet, practice Boat pose and scissor abs to target your core.
- You’re alignment is off: From the photo above, you see that my hips are stacked over my shoulders, and my feet are stacked over my hips. If you’re torso isn’t in a straight line with your abs engaged, it will be impossible to balance, even with a strong base. Ask your yoga instructor to watch you do headstand so they can help you get your alignment right.
(Source: urbanyogagirl, via almightycolon)