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practice and all is coming and remember to also enjoy the journey (5)

It has always been a dream to do a headstand unassisted.

I’ve been trying my hand at doing an unsupported headstand on and off for a year now. It took me a really long time to learn how to engage my core and stack my hips to do a knees to my chest tuck, but whenever I try to extend my legs, my butt will tip back and land on the wall and then I would have difficulty getting my legs (and butt) off the wall again.

When I first got down to doing srisasana at The Yoga Mandala, I had issues with rotating my hips. If I over rotate or tilt, my legs land on the wall and i am unable to lift it back off. But if i cautiously raise my legs, my hips are under rotated and my legs would be at a 45 degrees angle with the CG is actually more on the front side of the legs.

It was during YTT practice sessions that I learnt from tips from Alexis that I had to engage my thighs to internally rotate my hips, (and tuck the ribs to engage the core) and point the toes. But.. to actually tell the body to do that upside down was a totally new challenge altogether.

Also leaving the wall was another obstacle. I had to face my fear of not using the wall was when we were to take a group photo of all of us in headstands. It was challenging because everyone had to stay inverted for the same duration while the photo was taken. I did a knees to chest tuck and slowly tried to raise my legs. But then, i tipped over. It was freaky to fall over, but not as freaky as I imagined it to be. I guess that gave me a bit more courage to keep trying more.

It was later on when I attended make up asana practice recently did I learn from Jessica more tips and refined my methods to get into unassisted headstand without kicking up.

Method 1 involved doing a one legged pike. We had to straighten one leg up and slowly bring the other leg up. This method i felt was easier than the tucked knees to chest method. And it was easier to meet my legs straight. However soon enough i began to feel weightlessness in my arms. I started to have a mini panic inside but apparently it meant that i was doing my headstand correctly and all i had to do was concentrate and balance.

Later on I learnt that the tucked knees to chest method required myself to think pointed toes to the sky. Even though my knees are slightly bent in this variation, I could almost straighten them after learning to point my toes and engage my thighs and core more.

It was an awesome feeling to reach this breakthrough. It has taken me long to reach there but i’m finally glad I did! Thanks Jessica and Alexis for the tips and tricks. This is one part of my yoga journey I won’t forget 🙂


Signing off,

Janice @jannypenny

Writing my thoughts from my headstand epiphany day, 8 Nov 2018.