Supported Headstand is an amazing pose for many reasons, including its ability to calm the mind, relieve depression and improve digestion. It strengthens the whole body, including the lungs. Headstands also help relieve symptoms of menopause, asthma, insomnia and sinusitis.
HOW TO DO IT:
Begin by kneeling on the floor. You may want to use a folded blanket or yoga mat to support your head and forearms during this pose. If you're new to headstands, start out by doing this pose against a wall. Lacing your fingers together, set your forearms on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Place the crown of your head on the floor between your elbows. Roll your upper arms out, pressing your inner wrists into the floor. You may bring the heels of your hands against the back of your head for added support.
Raise your knees off the floor and step closer to your elbows. Actively lift from the top of your thighs to form an upside-down "V." Firm your shoulder blades down against your back.
Lift your feet off the floor. Be careful to not take too much weight onto your head and neck when coming into the headstand. To avoid this, actively press into the floor with your arms and use your arms and shoulders for support throughout the headstand. Try to lift both feet at the same time. You may bend your knees and hop your feet off the floor.
Staighten your legs, tilting your tailbone toward your pelvis. Turn your upper thighs in slightly as you press your heels up toward the ceiling. Check that the center of your arches, pelvis and crown of your head are in a straight line.
Widen your shoulder blades, continuing to press them into your back. Try to keep your weight evenly distributed on your forearms. Lengthen the spine, actively lifting your heels and the balls of your feet toward the ceiling.
Hold for however long is comfortable for you. In the beginning, this may only be for a few seconds. That is okay. Respect your body's needs, and with time, you will be able to add seconds onto your headstand. To come out of the pose, actively push into the floor with your forearms and lower both feet to the floor. Rest for a few breaths and take note of how you feel. Remember to breathe throughout the pose.
You may choose to follow Supported Headstand with a backbend like Wheel Pose. As always, be mindful of your body's needs and do not do more than what feels safe.