To practice nailing this yoga pose, start by placing a yoga mat or a folded blanket on the floor to pad your head and forearms. Kneel on the floor and interlock your fingers, keeping your feet and your forearms on the floor, with your elbows directly under your shoulders, shoulder-width apart.
Press the wrists firmly into the floor and roll the upper arms outwards, then place the top of your head on the floor making sure the back of your head is resting against the palms of the hands. This is the correct position to start your headstand from.
Image: Yoga Shala Ibiza
Inhale and, with your toes on the floor, lift your knees up off the floor, keeping your legs straight. Exhale and slowly lift both feet up at the same time, keeping the weight evenly balanced between the two forearms. A fail-safe mechanism to ensure that you can lift into this inverted asana safely is to train your abdominals to be strong enough to lift both knees whilst squeezed together.
Take it step by step. Image: Yoga Shala Ibiza
Squeeze the inner knees as if holding a sheet of paper between them. Refrain from using walls, corners where walls meet or other props as they can disguise poor alignment. Your cervical spine is so precious so we must be vigilant and extremely careful.
To avoid kicking the legs up, another fail-safe mechanism is to draw your knees up above your pelvis before straightening your legs again, making sure your knees are firmly squeezed together.
Success! Image: Yoga Shala Ibiza
When the legs are fully lengthened, push up through the big toes and hold for ten seconds. Exhale and very slowly and come down the same way as you went up, knees squeezed together, working your abdominals, and make sure both feet touch the floor at the same time.
If you’re working towards mastering the toughest yoga poses, a Hatha yoga holiday could be just the thing for you!