The headstand is notoriously challenging, and a lot of the times, the challenge for students lies in not having a strong, stable foundation. The opportunities to work the right muscles are missed when often in class we are asked to “kick up”. When you use momentum to fling yourself into a headstand, you don’t learn the principles, and your muscles don’t benefit from the work needed to get into the headstand properly.
CAUTION: do not attempt this without first having attempted the headstand and learned the technique with a teacher.
Here’s an excellent prop to play with to help lift the hips higher so that you can practise getting into the hips-over-shoulders alignment and work the core to maintain it. There’s no need to kick up. You simply walk – and roll – the yoga wheel closer towards you and keep lifting the hips high. Keep the navel pulled in so that your abs are firm to maintain balance and steadiness through the torso, and keep grounding towards your forearm tripod position.
Check out this video on how to do what I’d like to call the “Reverse Boat Crunch” to strengthen the hip flexors and overall core. Remember to keep your foundation steady with minimal movement. There is also a fun intermediate option to challenge yourself with!
Strong abs, shoulders and psoas guaranteed!
Prop courtesy of @DharmaYogaWheel
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