Falling Appointment

That’s it. After trying any other way, it isΒ  obvious to me that there will be no headstand unless it involves falling on my back (bad) or on my side (worse) or snapping my neck (worst). The idea of learning headstand without experiencing a fall is the equivalent of learning to swim without getting wet. So this afternoon I’m going to practice falling on the grass. It is astonishing to realize I could have done this without having to experience the exasperation of being fed up with feeling the signature fear of professional control freaks.

14 thoughts on “Falling Appointment

  1. I remember learning it in stages and I didn’t seem to fall that often but I admit I am not doing Ashtanga headstands now where you bring both legs straight up with the adominals engaged. That feels too hard on my neck for sure. I still first pull my knees into my chest, then pivot the hips and then straighten legs. If your elbows are out too far, falling is almost inevitable…same if they are in too close. Also it all definitely depends on abdominal strength, arm strength and the ability to feel out where the body is when it is upside down. Good luck with it ~ once you get up there without the falling, your body will remember and keep going for that same sensation πŸ™‚

  2. Falling is inevitable, unfortunately, but as someone who’s been working on the headstand for the past 8 months or so, I suggest also doing a couple of dolphin poses before the headstand (http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/2462). This activates the arms, shoulders and core, priming them for the actual headstand. Do it at every practice and after a while your muscles will start to get it. Like Nina, I walk my knees into my chest before straightening the legs and this does wonders for stability. Still doing the headstand against the wall though, to be cautious, but I’m relying on it less and less so hopefully I won’t need this ‘crutch’ forever. Good luck!!

  3. Hi D, I just checked out dolphin. I didn’t know it was called that!! That’s pretty much my preliminary, and I can walk on my tippytoes very close my face and stay there for quite a bit. It’s the moving the hips into the void that renders me catatonic. I usually wait for the teacher to tap my leg and then I hurl them up for her to grab, sigh. I also have this really narrow hallway at home and when I get desperate y just walk up one wall and lean on the other and pretend I’m doing headstand….

  4. Holding knees to chest while up-side down will help stabilize the core. But still, once the legs straighten there will be for sure be some wobbling that you’ll have to be comfortable with. I’ve been doing it for quite awhile now and I still fall sometimes (more often at home.. at the studio I play it safe and just come back down if I lose balance). Just make sure you don’t have any obstacles in front of you, tuck your head and roll forward and you will be safe.

  5. i do the bent knee version; it’s how i learned it. when you have the strength to bring the feet up without bending the knees, then you can do so. at the beginning i had such fear of this pose that i bought two headstand machines, one for home and one for the office. the office one was for an afternoon yoga “martini” – the feeling of calmness after being upside down.

  6. @Radhika, A video!? I LOVE YOU!! thank you I played it before I left for led primary today.
    @Y, For some reason, teacher was right next to me when Sirsansana rolled around so she just tapped my thigh and up I went, no chance for knee experiments. Once I’m up it’s pretty good, It’s the getting up there that is exasperating.
    @Arturo, I am going to need a photo example of that headstand machine mijo por favor!!

  7. Yes, the last stage of moving your hips directly over your shoulders is a little scary, I get catatonic too πŸ˜‰ Which is why I bend my knees first and stay there until I feel stable before straightening them – walk toes in, bend, straighten. I find having the knees tucked into my chest helps stabilize the core and the hips, making me less wobbly as I go up. I still tend to lean on the wall as I straighten my legs as my lower back arches a lot, but once I’m up, it’s ok.

    Arturo – I’m curious about your headstand machines, where can I buy one?? πŸ™‚

  8. hey all. i bought two. one was more expensive than the other. you don’t need the expensive one. the expensive one was guaranteed to not let you topple over, but the less expensive one works fine. it doubles as a little stool, then you take part of the seat out. it then looks like a toilet you would use when camping – haha, maybe that’s a double use. uhm, no.

    this is the expensive one : http://sitincomfort.com/yocoyoexbe.html. if you have a big house, it’s ok

    this is the reasonably priced one:
    that last sight has great other props. i would go for this one.


  9. Thanks Arturo! I think I saw the expensive one in a Gaiam Catalog once. This was before I would have laughed at the thought of doing any kind of yoga. I used to just own a manduka, then I bought a bag for the manduka. Because I now have a bag….Wait, I’m saving this for post!!

  10. If you practice falling and attempt the backwards version just remember to bend your knees and arch your back – if you do, you’ll most likely land in a sort of square, flat-topped UD. I did it accidentally at first, instinctively bent my knees to brace the fall with my feet, but now it makes me comfortable to know that the fall is very undramatic if it were to happen. Still do it sometimes so I always make sure to have plenty of space in front of me (which becomes behind me once I’m upside-down) before going up. The fall is kinda cool actually, once you’ve done it and not gotten hurt – makes me imagine tic-tocs could be fun πŸ™‚ Good luck!

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