In this week’s video, I demonstrate some transitions between various headstand positions. The positions, in order, are:
1) Sirsasana (regular headstand)
2) Mukta Hasta Sirsasana A (regular tripod headstand)
3) Mukta Hasta Sirsasana B (“forklift” tripod headstand)
4) Mukta Hasta Sirsasana A (regular tripod headstand)
5) Mukta Hasta Sirsasana D? (tripod with the hands pointed in the reverse direction)
6) Mukta Hasta Sirsasana A (regular tripod headstand)
To move from regular headstand into tripod headstand, first I carefully untangle my fingers. Then, making sure I am perfectly balanced, I quickly bring both my hands into tripod headstand position (I kind of miss the mark in the video…my hands are too close to my head by about 2-3 inches). Now, to switch to the “forklift” headstand, I quickly and forcefully extend my arms wide, flipping the hands so the palms face the ceiling. When I do this, I pretty much slam the backs of my hands on the ground; there is a lot of distance for the hands to travel from regular tripod headstand to the forklift variation, so speed and a little extra “oomph” are required for this move in particular. The next move, coming back to regular tripod, is not straightforward as it might seem. It’s tricky to go from having your balance spread out wide to having it contained in a narrow space again. A little extra focus and a little delicacy are need for this move. The last tripod variation is simply turning the hands around so they face in the opposite direction. Then I turn the hands back to normal tripod, before tilting my whole body down and coming straight into Chaturanga.
It’s probably not a good idea to try this out for the first time in the middle of the room. There is certainly a risk of falling over during these transitions, and balance is obviously key here. As you can see in the video, I’m pretty unstable during a few of the moves, but I try to keep my weight leaning in the direction that my eyes are facing, because I can catch myself in that direction. But if my weight leans in the other direction — i.e. towards the wall behind me — there’s really nothing I can do to catch myself if I start falling in that way. Of course, if I were to fall backwards, the best and safest thing to do would be to “tuck and roll”.
Disclaimer: I am not a certified yoga instructor, and the ideas and opinions expressed here are not intended to be formal instruction on yoga poses. If you plan to start up a yoga practice, or if you have one and plan to do any of the yoga poses described in this blog, please seek out an experienced, living, breathing yoga teacher to guide you with hands-on instruction.