What's up, everyone? Welcome to Yoga with Adriene.
And today, we're going to learn a safe wayto get into Headstand.
We have an inversion for you today on thefoundations of yoga.
There's so many benefits to this posture.
But it can be a bit tricky if you don't knowthe steps to get into it safely and with integrity.
So today we're going to learn how to sendit up with integrity, with strength, and with balance.
Let's hop on the mat and learn Headstand.
So to begin, we're going to come onto allfours.
And the reason we are going to start hereis because, again, we're focusing on the foundations of this pose today.
So I want to take it nice and slow.
Don't rush it.
Spread the palms.
Bring them right underneath the shoulders, so the wrists are right underneath the shoulders.
And so we use this as a little marker fromwherever the palms are, that's where we're going to drop the elbows.
So the elbows are now stacked right underneaththe shoulders.
And another great way to check this is youcan grab the opposite elbow with your hands, and press away from the earth, and just checkit out from here.
So this way, you know if you're too wide ifyou can't grab the elbows.
This is a nice little marker.
So we just went palms, two elbows.
And then we checked our work, checked ourhomework by grabbing our elbows with the opposite hand.
So take a second here to press away from theearth.
So we're already not starting out here.
If we start out here, it's much harder toget into this space of integrity in the shoulder girdle.
So right away, I usually invite my friends, my students, my homies, to right away start pressing into the elbows and broadening throughthe upper back body.
From here, we'll release the palms out.
And right away, because of how tight the shouldersare, and just because the shoulders speak to us in this posture, right away the palmsare going to want to come either wider or become narrow.
So pay attention, my friends.
Keep the wrist in line with the elbow andthat shoulder stacked over.
So we have a nice foundation here as we pressin all ten knuckles.
We're going to take a breath in.
As we broaden the upper back body, press awayfrom the earth.
So you might already start to feel this inthe arms, and in the shoulders, and in the muscles that wrap around, and that's good! That means we're building strength.
So often we kind of barrel into this posturewithout building the strength that we need in the arms and around the shoulder girdle.
So take your time on the foundations of yoga.
So you might just stay here, is what I'm tryingto say.
You can bring the gaze straight down, justbelow the thumbs, and work here on muscles.
When you get tired, you can curl the toesunder, and then send it back.
Resting the forehead on the earth and lettingthe elbows go wide.
So just kind of softening.
And again, we're starting with the very basichere, but never underestimate the power of learning the foundation, right, building thepose beautifully from the ground up.
So then we'll hug the elbows in again.
Make sure they're stacked underneath the shoulders.
Come onto the tops of the feet.
And you might again just press up here.
This time, maybe drawing your navel towardsyour spine, really integrating from the crown of the head to the tip of the tailbone.
So this is option one.
We are building strength here and then we'rerocking it back.
And the we're building strength here and thenwe're rocking it back.
Okay? To take it to the next step, so just progressinghere, we'll keep the elbows where they are, my friends, and interlace the fingertips.
Open the palms here.
So we're just creating a little pocket here, eventually a little pillow for the head.
And again, I press away from the earth hereand I create a little triangle.
So I'm pressing into the forearms, pressinginto the elbows.
This is the opposite of that, kind of sulkinginto the shoulders.
I press away, drawing the shoulders away fromthe ears, broadening through the upper back body.
We might just stay here.
You might begin to just work on these muscles.
And then take your rest.
And then come back and work on the muscles.
And that might be your back and forth foundationalflow today.
So to take it a step further, I'm going tocurl the toes under.
I'm going to bring the top of my head.
So this is the flat part of my head, my friends, right? To the earth and pocket the back of my headwith my hands here.
So it's kind of like a little yarmulke ora sweet little cap on the back of the head.
Shoulders will want to collapse.
You'll want to keep the integrity in the shouldershere.
Walk the knees in just slightly.
So from here, I'm really not putting any weightinto my head.
In fact, my head is hovering as of right now.
But then I can release my head back to theearth and just play with this foundation of the triangle – of the arms, and the crownof the head, and the shoulders – drawing away from the ears.
So I don't mean to sound like a broken recordhere, but it's so important to build the strength in the upper body, in the arms, and in theshoulder girdle before we begin to lift the sit bones up.
Okay? So again, this might be our flow today.
Chilling here and then sending it back.
Now, progressing even further.
So we always have options here.
And we're just taking it super slow and beingsuper mindful.
We'll press away from the earth.
Thumbs are extended here.
And slowly, begin to lift the sit bones up.
Keep the knees slightly bent here.
Then press away from the earth.
Draw the shoulders away from your ears.
Slight bend in the knees.
Straighten the legs, drop your heels downtowards the mat.
Inhale, bend your knees.
And exhale, straighten the legs, draw theheels back.
So we're building strength in the arms here, building integrity, strength, support.
“Stability” is really the word I'm lookingfor, in the shoulder girdle.
One more time.
Bend the knees generously.
Heels down, legs straight.
You might stay here, you might lower the kneesfor a rest, particularly if you're brand new to head stands, take a rest, okay? Always take a rest.
Come back with a little freshness.
We'll meet back up here.
This time, we'll walk the toes together andbegin to bring our awareness now to the navel.
Draw your navel, lower belly, in.
And again, shoulders draw away from the earsas we broaden the shoulder blades.
And again, navel to spine.
And again, I'm on the flat part of my headhere.
I'm pressing into my elbows.
I'm pressing most of my weight into my forearmshere, not into the head.
Then I might just stay here, or I might continueto progress, I might walk my toes all the way up, begin to soften through the knees.
Again, lower belly draws in.
And then first things first, I'm just goingto hug one knee.
It doesn't matter which one, in towards thechest.
Drawing the toes up towards the sky, squeezethe lower belly in.
Keep pressing into the elbows.
And you might come onto that big toe of theopposite foot here.
Breathe, breathe, breathe.
Then we release and check it out on the otherside.
Checking in with the abdominal wall.
As we press into the elbows, draw the shouldersaway from the ears.
Inhale in, and exhale, we release.
Slowly lower the knees down, come onto thetops of the feet, release the arms, and roll it up.
Loop the shoulders here.
Carve a line with your nose, forward, up, and back, so we're not crunching in the back of the neck by any means, but we're extendingthrough the crown.
And now, you can interlace the fingertips.
Bring them behind the head, lower than wewere before, so kind of where we do, what I call Barton Springs pose, so to the Atlas, the base of the neck.
Not the neck.
The head, here.
I'm all zenned-out after my Headstand.
And I'm going to press the back of the headinto the palms, press the palms into the back of the neck.
As you do that, broaden through the elbows.
But just have a little moment of reset here.
You might rock a little side to side.
You can close your eyes.
And then release it back to center.
If you're done for the day, take a child'spose, and that's your practice.
If you'd like to progress a step further, then we're going to dive back in.
So going through our steps: all fours, droppingto the elbows.
Take a second to check your homework.
Then we'll interlace, open the palms.
Thumbs are going to extend here.
Walk the knees in slightly.
Draw the lower belly in as you release thehead to the earth.
Get situated here.
Find your foundation.
Then we'll take a deep, deep, deep breathin, and on an exhale, curl the toes under.
Straighten the legs, lift the hips up.
Again, I'm not crashing weight into the crownof my head, but using strong arms, strong foundation in the forearms here to find balance.
So now, I might squeeze one leg in.
And then switch, and then switch.
And then maybe if I'm ready, I'll slowly beginto lift both knees in towards the chest.
Now again, pressing into the elbows, drawingthe shoulders away from the ears.
And then we'll slowly lower one toe back down, and then the other, and release.
So slowly, you will trace our steps as weroll back up.
And same thing as before.
Send it into child's pose or we'll take itall the way up.
If you're ready, just send the feet up towardsthe sky.
Now, the thing about this is, if you're abeginner, or even if you're not a beginner and you just want to work on strength andalignment, it might be good to go to a wall here.
In fact, if you're a beginner, I suggest yougo to a wall here or have a buddy behind you.
Often, by rushing this, we can create a tonof unnecessary soreness, strain.
I hate even saying it.
It's like, “Ouch!” in the neck, and may evenlead to possible injuries.
And you know, I don't play like that.
So don't risk it.
Let's find a wall at this moment.
Or if you have a friend there to help you, that's a good idea, too.
So here we go.
Going through our steps, taking our time, really building it from the ground up.
For me, setting up poses like this is also, and I know this sounds cheesy, but like an act of self-love.
You really care about yourself.
You care about your neck.
And you care about your practice, the qualityof it, and you take your time going into things.
Let it unfold.
When you have your foundation set up, followyour breath.
Inhale in, and exhale.
Lift the hips up.
Walk the toes in.
And remember, you might just stay here today.
To take it a step farther, we'll squeeze oneknee in.
Navel draws in.
Press into your foundation.
And we lift off, squeezing both knees in.
Now, to straighten the legs up, I'm goingto consider my pelvis here.
So you can kind of see my tailbone, pelvis, going out towards the front edge of my mat right here.
And this is a great place to just be to buildstrength, practicing pressing in the foundation, connecting the breath.
But to progress, to take it a step further, I'm going to press up through the ball joint of my big toe, begin to straighten the legs, and really lengthen my tailbone up toward the sky as I draw my navel in.
Squeeze the inner thighs together.
Press away from the earth.
Draw the shoulders away from the ears, andmarry a little bit of length with the strength.
So I'm not clenching my buttocks here, butI am engaged.
Pressing up through the ball joint of thosebig toes, you might find some yogi toes here.
And we breathe.
Keep soft in the skin of the face.
Keep pressing into your foundation.
Shoulders drawing up and away from the ears.
And there's no tension or pressure in my neckhere.
In fact, there's hardly any weight on my head.
Maybe about 20%.
Mostly it's in my forearms.
Breathing, really energetically drawing allthe weight up, up, up through the arches of the feet.
So you might only take a breath or two herein the beginning of your practice.
Even if you're against a wall, be mindfulof how long you're upside-down at first.
Listen to your body.
Take your time.
Now with practice, we'll get to be here forquite a few breaths, really experiencing the benefits of this posture.
And to come out of the posture, we'll bendone knee in towards the center, draw the navel towards your spine, followed by the oppositeknee, in towards center, pressing the arms, strong core.
And then slowly, one leg at a time, toes releasedown.
Take a deep breath in.
Walk the toes out.
And on an exhale, release the knees to theearth.
I'm not collapsing the shoulders yet.
Keep drawing the shoulders away from the earsas I release onto the tops of the feet.
And slowly unravel.
Tuck your chin into your chest.
Roll it up.
And again, we have the option of coming intoa little Barton Springs pose here.
Oh yeah, baby.
Or sometimes, I like to release fingertipsto the mat, fingertips pointing forward, and just take a second here.
Don't drop the head here.
Draw the shoulder blades together.
Just kind of resetting here, creating space.
And then we can release back to center andtake it into child's pose.
So I think it's important to let the bloodflow in the opposite direction again before we return to child's pose.
And then from here, you can relax.
Maybe massage your third eye a little bithere.
And if you begin to feel pressure in the neckhere, then that to me says you need to spend a little more time here, just kind of resetting, pressing the Atlas, the back of the neck, into the hands.
Find your bliss.
Enjoy your practice.
All right, my friends.
So awesome work.
That was a Headstand, an inversion practicefor you.
This is the foundations of yoga.
So again, if you're new to the practice, remember, nice and slow.
Return to this video again and again, andsee how the practice unfolds.
Even if you've been doing Headstand for awhile, it's never too late to slow it down.
And make sure that you're treating the bodywith 110% loving kindness.
All right? Because that's what our yoga is all about, right? Finding what feels good, practicing self-love, and building strength in the body.
I do guarantee you that if you practice Headstandwith this prep, you're going to build these babies up.
Like mine are so huge.
No toxic thoughts.
But you will build arm strength, and you willnot experience any pain or a fuzziness in the neck.
This pose should bring you vitality, a senseof excitement, confidence, joy, not pain or fear, or any fuzziness after practice.
So check it out.
Keep exploring it.
Leave questions, comments always below.
We will do another version of Headstand, maybea little more intermediate version of this pose on another day.
But for now, take it nice and slow.
And enjoy how the pose unfolds.
I love you guys.
Take it easy.