Tell me, are you searching for any of these qualities…..
Happiness. Energy. Strength.
Oh you are, how coincidental, because I am too. It appears that you and I are in the right place, together.
Welcome to your headstand yoga class to increase happiness, circulate life force energy, and build core strength.
Today’s yoga class is a beautiful concoction of increased energy and happiness, awareness of headstand alignment, integration of the muscles, visualization of your goals, and a childlike curiosity to try something new or insignificantly significant.
In simpler terms, we are working towards headstand and the plan is to FEEL GOOD and HAVE FUN while we do it.
Before I dive into our peak posture and why this headstand sequence works, I must give credit where credit is due. This sequence was inspired by Tiffany Cruikshank and Jason Crandell, two teachers whom I highly admire and respect. It is their teachings and wisdom that are interwoven throughout today’s yoga class, to which I offer a prayer: ONG NAMO GURUDEV NAMO.
This prayer joins together the golden chains of teachers who come before us, who bring us towards wisdom, who help us to discern value.
Now, let’ begin.
This sequence focuses on four central themes, which you’ll experience in the next few moments, they are:
- Build from the ground up, start with the foundation
- Create stability in the shoulders over mobility
- Become comfortable with the upside down sensation
- Awareness of pelvis, spine, and rib alignment through various postures
We still start our headstand journey with a longgggg forward fold, uttanasana, to familiarize the body and mind, even here we are in an inversion – head below heart.
From here, we will visit baddha hastasana, an arm variation that focuses on shoulder stability. This same arm variation will be practiced repeatedly throughout low-lunge salutations, to let the sensation sink in, in hopes that it remains present once we get to headstand.
Of course, we will say hello to our power center (aka core) and invite it to come play in plank pose, forearm plank, and dolphin pose. These strength building variations are an invitation to practice pelvis, spine, and rib alignment, and further cultivate shoulder stability. And just so we’re all prepared, there will be some forearm plank to dolphin action, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
After we do all of the above and move through a standing sequence, the peak moment will arrive: HELLO HEADSTAND.
It’s here that you have full permission to break away, practice your personal headstand variations (or maybe something else you desire), or stick with me to continue building the foundation.
I will walk us through a series of headstand drills that in my opinion, help familiarize the mind and body with what’s about to happen. Finally, you are set free to choose your headstand destiny.
If you are brand new to inversions or currently working on them, below are some intelligent suggestions from Tiffany (in sequential order to practice):
- Plug your shoulders up and in
- Push your armpits forward, towards the back of the mat (this is if your head is at the top of your yoga mat)
- Hug elbows in to energize the side ribs
- Broaden your clavicles, this will result in the butt lifting
- Awaken the legs and feet, ask them to participate
Now if you made it to here, but feel uncomfortable moving forward, here are a few options: sit back and watch me, rest in child’s pose, return to a core strength posture, position yourself next to a wall for support, or ask a friend/partner to spot you, but please……. do not put your wellbeing at risk. No headstand is worth that.
After a sweet headstand recess, we will simmer down now, and seal our efforts in child’s pose. Here you can use a bolster for extra support and relaxation, send your legs up the wall (one of my favorites), or extend your body into traditional savanna.
You choose boo.
Ready to begin this headstand yoga practice? I believe we are now armored with the must-know knowledge, so please unroll your yoga mat and set the intention to tap into happiness, energy, and strength.
I will meet you on your mat, xoxo.