Happy Healthy and Fit

Friday, February 15, 2013

Breakdown Headstand to Breakthrough Fear in Yoga & Life

I have been teaching headstand or, as the pose is known in Sanskrit,  Shirshasana a lot lately.  Generally, there are three kinds of students: ones who can headstand alone, ones who take their mat to the wall and ones that sit on their mat and smile, as if I am going to let them sit this one out.

The biggest obstacle to a successful headstand is fear.  Sometimes that fear is the result an attempted headstand gone bad and sometimes it is the result of someone telling someone else about a headstand injury.  Then, there is simply the fear of turning upside-down, being out of control or the inability to do it.  The same fears that exist in headstand exist in life.

After watching students, pull their mats to the wall and never making improvements, I have come realize that the way you approach your headstand is the way you approach your life.  Do you Go for the Goal, Play it Safe or Stop in fear?

Going for the goal in any relationship, sport, business or activity requires getting proper training from an expert, asking questions, practice and discipline.  In terms of the headstand, this approach means staying on your mat, without the illusion of the wall for security.  Learn that headstand is not really a headstand, but an inverted balancing pose requiring strong use of the arms, core and bandhas.

Just like experiencing success in true love, business, arts or athletics, the benefits of proper headstand are infinite and boundless.

Playing it safe in headstand is not really safe at all.  This is when you pull your mat to the wall, place your head on the ground and kick up.  You are going through the motions and not experiencing the pose or benefits.  Kicking your legs up until the wall catches you is not accomplishing anything.  It is preparing you to topple over and injure yourself when you try this away from the wall.  Looking at someone else doing the pose and taking this approach is like deciding you want to get married and ordering a bride out of a catalogue.  Ultimately, it is a recipe for dissatisfaction and potential disaster.

For those who stop completely in fear, it is understandable that if you don't know what you are doing, you do not want to risk injury.  Do not let fear hold you back from a life of balance, love, health, fulfillment and empowerment.  Do not listen to what someone else says about headstands.  Those are probably the same people telling you to hold onto your miserable job or stay in your dysfunctional relationship.

Expansion and growth require release.  The release is fear.  I do not recommend trying to learn headstand on your own anymore than I recommend kicking up to a wall.  However, I have been experimenting over the past several weeks with teaching students how to build a proper foundation, Lift up from the belly, shift weight out of the head, tuck the tailbone and squeeze the legs.  The success rate has been 100% regardless of age, ability or gender.  The empowered smiles have been universal.

Notice your approach to headstand, do you give your whole heart, part of your heart or none of your heart?  Whether your headstand, love life or business is suffering, do not accept what you have been accepting and expect a change.  Decide to breakthrough and go for it!  Get some sound coaching from a trusted expert, apply it with heart and diligence, your best life is waiting!

Just as a true, magical love relationship can cure you of all past relationship pains, according to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, proper headstand can cure you many ailments that resulted from improper headstand.

Need more inspiration to breakdown and breakthrough headstands?  Some of the amazing healing benefits are improved, eyesight, glowing eyes, increased memory power, increased intellect, youthful rejuvenation and spiritual illumination.



  1. I recently learned how to do head stand and I have been a yoga practitioner for 16 years. I took a 1 hour workshop that specifically dealt with how to do head stand. I was able to do it in class. I practised it on my own and was able to do it on my own the second time I tried on my own. It is about technique and it's really not hard once you learn the technique. It was almost addicting practising it. I strongly recommend doing a workshop that is just for that or even suggesting it to studios if you want to learn it.

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