Ask the Teacher: Headstand Hardships

 

Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for a day, a week, or month, we all have questions. It can be daunting to approach your teacher after class, so we’re bringing the expert to you! This week, Brittany Policastro, Philadelphia-based yoga teacher, facilitator, writer and founder/director of Beyond Asana, answers a few questions from our readers. Do you have a question? Let us know in the comments section below!

Headstand kills my head. What am I doing wrong?
– Alex M., Silver Spring, MD

Well I have a few questions for you to think about. Are you doing your headstand on a thin mat and it’s simply the top of your head that hurts? If so you can fold your hat in half for a bit more cushion. You could use a blanket as well but make sure it is neat and not bunched up and also that it will not slide. 

If that’s not the case then the issue most likely has to do with alignment. And it also depends on which headstand you are doing. Tripod headstand does put a bit more pressure on the head than the more traditional one (which your forearms and head on the ground. But really there should be minimal pressure on your head. You want to use your entire upper back to support the posture as well as keep your shoulders from moving beyond the elbows. You also want to really lift through your legs and engage your core. And you don’t want to hold your head with your hands. Instead your hands are lined up right in front of your head folded but not all the way closed. Root through your forearms and wrists to lift. All of this will help to pull you out of your head and neck and keep from compressing. 

Also, if you would like to see a tutorial of me doing a headstand as well as more of the most misaligned postures in the yoga practice, you can click here and get them for free. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.23.22 PMKnown as a Stevie Wonder-loving, truth-speaking change-agent who bagged law school to pursue a creative thirst, Brittany T. Policastro rarely follows the pack – on or off the mat. She is a yoga teacher, facilitator, writer and the founder/director of Beyond Asana and has been teaching a creative and soul-stirring combination of Vinyasa and alignment-based yoga for 12 years. She writes for the Huffington Post and her own blog- The Breakthrough Blog which you can find at www.livingbeyondasana.com. Brittany loves dancing,  food prepared with love, reading every night and is currently working on her first book. Connect with Brittany on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

Known as a Stevie Wonder-loving, truth-speaking change-agent who bagged law school to pursue a creative thirst, Brittany T. Policastro rarely follows the pack - on or off the mat. She is a yoga teacher, facilitator, writer and the founder/director of Beyond Asana and has been teaching a creative and soul-stirring combination of Vinyasa and alignment-based yoga for 12 years. She writes for the Huffington Post and her own blog- The Breakthrough Blog which you can find at www.livingbeyondasana.com. Brittany loves dancing,  food prepared with love, reading every night and is currently working on her first book. Connect with Brittany on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube