headstand prep

ardha shirshasana


Level: Intermediate



1. From Table pose, bring the crown of the head flat to the floor. Slide the palms back a few inches until the elbows are bent at right angles.

2. Tuck the back toes under and straighten the legs. Walk the toes in until you can carefully lift the right knee and place it on top of the right elbow. Carefully place bring the left knee to the left elbow. Let the weight of your body primarily on the crown of the head, using the arms for additional support and balance.

3. Breathe deeply and hold for 3-6 breaths.

4. To release: exhale and carefully step one foot back to the floor at a time. Bring the knees to the floor and press into Child pose.

5. Repeat on other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Headstand prep improves memory and concentration, nourishes facial skin and hair, relieves organ prolapse, and stimulates the crown chakra. This pose improves circulation and simulates the immune system.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the head, neck or spine.  Unmedicated high blood pressure, glaucoma.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Place a folded blanket under the head.

Variations: This pose is the beginning stage of full headstand pose..


Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Table, Down Dog, Cat, Dog.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Child, Table, Down Dog, Plank.

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