People who don’t practice yoga usually combine yoga with lotus pose (padmasana) and headstand (sirsasana).

In Ashtanga yoga a headstand is part of the closing sequence. At the end of second series seven different forms of sirsasana are exercised.

Headstand can be learned in one session.

  • In the movie ‘The breathing God’ one can watch how B.K.S. Iyengar teaches a man headstand. This man had never done yoga before, it was the film maker. He was able to get into headstand very quickly. Within 10 minutes or less this man got into headstand alone and he could hold it. Iyengar only told him what to do. There were no hands on adjustments. The situation was challenging as the student had a lot of viewers.

  • I learned it in one session, too. Years ago I practiced with the Sivananda people. Sirsasana is the first asana out of the twelve basic ones in their system. They know how to teach it.

Usually yoga beginners have such a huge respect and even fear to get into headstand. It’s not necessary. It’s very unlikely that one falls out of this pose. I fell out perhaps twice within decades. Nothing happened. The folded hands behind the head prevent that one falls backwards. Nevertheless I always want to have space enough in front of me in case I fall. If one falls against a wall one might injure oneself.

The main two mistakes:

  1. Most people who struggle with this pose have the elbows too far away from each other. My arms are almost parallel on the floor. The wrist press into the floor.

  2. Never ever go to a wall!!!! Don’t do it. Fear will become worse. I’ve seen it so often.

There are many possibilities to get into the pose. It’s easier when the legs are bent, when moving into this asana. I’m glad that I can get into the pose with straight legs again, yet this is a bit more challenging.

  1. step: Learn to get into a basic handstand.

  2. step: Hold this asana longer, 5 minutes could be a doable goal. Self-confidence will grow.

  3. step: Exercise variations.

In order to check if the body is parallel to the wall one must take a picture. The yoga poses feel differently than they look like. A picture tells the truth.

I plan to go to a Sivananda yoga class again, after so many years. I mean they taught me how to get into headstand. Perhaps they can teach me pincha mayurasana, too.