Yoga Journal

Is Headstand safe? What the research says

OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE KING of yoga postures, Sirsasana I (Headstand) can be a refreshing and energizing inversion that, when practiced consistently, builds strength in the upper body and core. For years, the posture has been praised for providing physical benefits—but it’s also been criticized for exposing the head and neck to weight that could cause injury. In fact, in some yoga communities, Headstand has completely lost its place at the throne, and it has even been banned in some studios.

In traditional yoga practices, Headstand is an inverted posture taught in seven different forms. In the variation we’ll look at here, the base of support is the top of the skull. To get into the pose, come to your knees, place your forearms on the floor, and clasp your hands, positioning your elbows shoulder-width apart (creating an inverted V from clasped hands to your elbows). Find the floor with the crown of your head, and cradle the back of your head with your clasped hands. Engage your upper body as you press your elbows and wrists into the floor,

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