Costa Rica Yoga JournalMark Goldstein


By Mark Goldstein

headstandThis March, our pose of the month here at PranaVida wellness is the Headstand. If there are two things that we all did far more as children, they had to have been somersaults and headstands. This month I’d like to offer to all of you the opportunity to revisit your childhood headstands. 

As always, in yoga, there are plenty of variations for this pose and with that in mind, anyone can practice one form or another of headstand. Why do headstands? Well, first because anything that we did as kids for fun has to be good for us to embrace as adults again, right? 

Playa Yoga

I tell many of my massage clients who present themselves with achy muscles. “You need to act more like a kid! Go roll down a grassy hill, jump some rope, wiggle your body like a worm on a hook just to look funny”. It sure makes you feel better than sitting at a desk all day. So first, a headstand connects you to your inner kid, and that’s a good thing. 

As well, there are many benefits to practicing this pose in yoga. In some yoga disciplines, the headstand is considered a “master pose” and is credited with helping to cleanse our endocrine system (toxin removal), and exercising our circulatory system, keeping it more healthy and running more smoothly. Digestive issues are also helped by practicing headstands and most commonly we end up with a very wonderful feeling of well being when we practice headstand. 

headstandWe can use a wall to lean on when practicing, we can get some help and practice without a wall, and after a few tries many will be able to practice in the middle of the room without any help at all. Who should try headstand? Anyone who has ever wanted to. Who should avoid doing headstands? Those with neck injuries, high blood pressure or glaucoma, and anyone who is allergic to having fun. 

In all seriousness though, we do all need to be safe in all of our poses and having correct technique and the right assistance will allow us to enjoy headstands and stay safe from injury. Some may feel that they lack the strength or balance to perform a headstand. If that is the case, then there are several yoga poses which we can practice to prepare ourselves for headstand. 

Also, when you work with an experienced instructor, we can assist you in your practice and have you up in a headstand in your first class safely. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve loved to see a student come out of their first headstand and get the biggest smile on their face! 

If you already practice headstand, please join us and we can explore even further.

If you have never practiced headstand and would like to try, then we will work together and find the perfect way to introduce this wonderful pose to your yoga practice.

In any case, please feel encouraged to explore, and join us as we practice yoga here in paradise.