You must have noticed it: I am always posting pictures on my instagram account (@valerieorsoni) where I am doing headstands or shoulders stands, whether on the beach, at the gym, or at home.
This pose needs to be well mastered in order for you to reap all the benefits which head and shoulder stands bring:
Note: head and shoulder stands are not recommended for those who are menstruating or suffer from high blood pressure, acid reflux, or eye and ear medical conditions.
Here is what we are aiming for: a flat back, a tucked-in tummy, a low center of gravity – all under calm and precise control. Only then can we lift our legs. And ultimately, you can keep your back straight while moving your legs just like Alejandro is doing here. But hey, he is a yoga instructor, so no surprise that this is a piece of cake for him!
To get there, find a wall with no paintings, and where there are no sharp objects around.
1. Place your mat next to the wall as you see in the video below:
2. Position yourself 5 inches from the wall
3. Place the top of your head in your clasped hands, fingers intertwined – creating a sort-of nest for your head :).
4. Keep your elbows well grounded and your forearms parallel to each other
5. Keep your back and legs straight. Walk your feet towards your head so that you are naturally pushing your back in a vertical position, right above your head.
6. When you feel your back is straight, right above your head, bring one leg up to the wall, slowly and with control, for which you’ll need to be keeping your core and your back engaged. Let go of fear, the wall is here to stay and will support you. When your first leg is at mid-height in the air, start bringing up the other (it should almost naturally follow the first leg).
7. Now you should be in this position: the very top of your head resting in the nest formed by your hands (put your pinkie inside the nest to avoid crushing it with your weight), your back is straight and not touching the wall – only your butt and legs are touching the wall.
8. Once you feel in control of this position you can start going away from the wall as shown in the video. You can hesitate, take your time, try, stop, try again. At your own pace, in your own time. You must feel comfortable and in control at all times before going to the next step. Look at me in the video: I hesitate, I am not sure, I have doubts at first, so I go back to the security of the wall, and then try again until I feel strong enough to let go of my fear and leave the wall.
9. Always keep your triceps and your core engaged.
10. Keep this pose for a few seconds, then go back against the wall and bring your legs down very slowly, maintaining continuous control. Don’t let yourself fall to the ground!
– Next step: try by starting further away from the wall, and eventually, you will feel ready to experience this without the security of the wall nearby. You will certainly be impressed by how powerful you feel once you succeed – proud even! Nothing beats a shoulder stand to forget about your worries (even if it is for a few seconds) and feel better about life!
Your turn!PS. As with all fitness activity, only do this if your personal health and fitness levels allow you. Always have somebody next to you to catch you in case you fall.