This post was written by QSY director, Leena Miller Cressman.
If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know that we’re not exactly big fans of headstands with the weight on the head around QSY. You can read more about our yoga-world famous post (or was it infamous?) here on our blog and here in Yoga International.
(If you want to know why I joke that it was infamous, check out the comments section on the Yoga International post… good times! My favorite is the commenter “Nico”, who repeatedly refers to me as “Ms. Don’t Do That”. Thanks, Nico, I love the new nickname! All things considered, compared to much of the internet, it’s a pretty tame comments section.)
So while we choose not to practice and teach headstand (and shoulderstand) at QSY because of safety concerns for the issues that might arise from weight bearing on the neck, we do love our handstands and variations of headstand where the shape of the pose is similar but no actual weight is placed on the head (making it a headless headstand).
Here are two examples:
Headless headstand with two chairs
Here’s a little how-to video taken during one of our teacher training weekends of the variation with 6 yoga blocks and possibly some help from an experienced yoga-friend.
It’s best to learn these poses with the assistance of an experienced teacher. Please be cautious with any physical activity, and build up to more advanced variations of yoga postures, like the one show in the video, with guidance over time. If you have any pressure-related illness like blood pressure issues or glaucoma, you’ll want to avoid inversions all-together.
Leena Miller Cressman is the director of Queen Street Yoga. Right now she’s in love with practicing the Tensegrity Repair Series, handstands and doing gentle twists over her bolster. You’ll also find her cruising around on her rusty but trusty bike, and tending to her community garden plot full of arugula, kale, and basil.