Since writing Stand on your Own...Head I've got some more tips on how to get into that illusive headstand, and why you might want to do it at all!
As I said last time, asana and crazy poses do not make you more enlightened. So if you can't or don't want to stand on your head due to medical reasons or other then SO WHAT! WHO CARES. DON'T DO THEM IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE.
Why do it at all
Ok. That said and hopefully with the pressure off, the reasons you may like to stand on your head are
Rule yourself out
Do an honesty check of the contraindications on this site and from your Doc and if you shouldn't don't.
Learn to fall
Thanks to our lovely Cassie at Yoga Quota Oxford, I have learnt to teach people to learn to fall safely from their headstand first. Neck in, and roll. Just like a somersault you'd do in the play ground. Cassie's headstand classes are like a play ground with people controlled falling every where. Now you don't fear falling and you know you can do it safely....
Make sure you have a safe slight natural curve in your neck. I cannot stress enough the need to be taught by a teacher for this. You're not going to be able to look in a mirror to do this, and once you have it right you'll be much safer.
Find your foundation
I always use my forearms down in a nice strong triangle, but there are other variations like hands down and elbows in a right angle for a wider base. Teachers recommended again.
Tuck stand or Tripod stands
Great place to start because there is no kicking up needed which can get your neck out of kilter and there is no/less falling. So you get used to the sensation. Squeeze your core in to try to feel like your hips are floating up from your head.
Knees up together
From a strong tuck stand, gradually point your knees to the ceiling. Wobbles will now be accentuated by the additional height so take stock and come down any time. I find I clench my jaw... which tightens my neck. So try to relax your jaw... even smile!
Feet up together
From your knees up pose you may be able to lift your feet up. Squeeze your thighs together. Belly button towards the spine. S.T.R.O.N.G
Then comes the hard bit- holding it! Ashtangis may be able to lower their legs together like a pike. More advanced/brave people may be able to
Why not kick up?
You get all out of control and your neck deserves control!
I hope you enjoy this journey to headstanding (if you haven't had to rule it out) Beleive me it can be a long journey- mine was mostly due to fear! And like all journeys, after a time off practicing it you can find yourself back to square one! ah well!
Any other headstanding tips or photos do share!