Tripod Headstand (Sirsasana II)

Tripod headstand is a badass yoga pose! Balancing on your head, with the hands behind you in support, feels pretty cool. Not gonna lie. It can be intimidating, though. Here are a few tips to help you lift off into Sirsasana II.

The trick is to bend the elbows back, just like chaturunga. This requires the hands to be far behind you, elbows stacking over wrists. You’re creating a shelf with the arms and this shelf will provide you with enough stability to lift the feet off the ground and into the pose. Tripod headstand is aptly named: the palms of the hands and crown of the head are your base.

wide legged forward bend

Lower down from a wide-legged forward bend.

wide legged forward bend, shoulders release

Clasp the hands behind you, let the shoulders release overhead.

 

Press the palms strongly into the mat, fingers spread wide. Make sure your elbows are above the wrists. Think chaturunga with the arms. Place the crown of the head onto the mat. See if you can slowly lift the feet off the ground. Play here, with the feet rising. Breathe as the feet lift up, hips stacking over shoulders, legs reaching high overhead. I like to come into the pose from a Wide-legged Forward Bend, pulling the belly in as I fold. You can also walk the toes in, placing the knees on the arms, as Kathryn Budig demonstrates here. 

wide legged forward bend, arms stacked

Press palms into mat, elbows over wrists. Set up your base.

tripod headstand

Slowly rise up into Tripod headstand.

Practice against a wall, using a blanket underneath the head. This extra bit of cushioning will get you used to balancing on the crown of your head. It can feel uncomfortable at first, so take your time. This pose takes practice, patience and strength. Go for it! It’s super fun when you get there.

 

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7 Minute Shoulder Saver

Your shoulders. How do they feel right now? Are you carrying the weight of the world on em? Are you hunched over the computer? Been driving more than usual? Almost everything we do in our daily lives involves the shoulders and you can feel it. This 7 minute practice can help. Have a block (or book) belt (or towel) handy and use a wall. Shrug your shoulders up, back and down and begin!

Restore in 10 minutes

But you don’t have the time right? You haven’t finished what you started and you need to. Consider this: you might be more productive if you allowed yourself to slow down. Instead of pushing your body to its limits and slowing down only when you get sick, give yourself time to take it easy. EVERY DAY. Whether it’s savoring your morning cup of coffee undisturbed (no email or Facebook) or practicing this yoga sequence at the office. This is a guilt free break. In France, it is now illegal to check your email after 6pm. Illegal! Imagine that. We don’t need to take it that far, but there’s something to be said for the principle. Give back to your body, go easy on it sometimes. Do you push yourself hard each day, mentally, physically or both? Show it some love, gratitude and respect. Throw a little R&R in your day with this sequence. Take a deep breath and enjoy!

Compass Pose

Asana of the Week:

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana 

Compass Pose

Compass pose

This pose looks impossible, but looks are deceiving! Darren Rhodes makes Compass so accessible you *might* wonder why your knee isn’t always on top of your shoulder.  Right?!   This is a  really deep hamstring stretch that is equally intense for the shoulders and side body. Go only as far as you can.  And breathe 🙂

Compass Pose Tutorial with Darren Rhodes on Yogaglo