Vanity Helped my Headstand

Shame and vanity hardly ever serve yoga. Except when they do.

The other day I was demonstrating tripod for a friend of mine. We were talking about the transition from crow into tripod headstand (which is not something I can currently do) and I couldn’t express what I meant. So I got down on the floor and got into tripod.

Another friend of mine asked if I could go up from that position into headstand – also not something I’d ever done before. I figured I’d try. But as soon as I was upside down my shirt slid down. Oops! But here comes the trick.

I was worried that my belly would stick out, so I instinctually sucked in, pulling my stomach up and in towards my spine. And what does that do – besides giving the appearance of a flatter belly? Strengthen and engage the muscles for core stabilization.

With a stable core, my legs just floated up. I wasn’t even wobbly. My attempt at hiding flab engaged my core, and my legs just lifted up on their own – stacking on top of my body in perfect balance.

All three of these gorgeous images come from the Lululemon blog post titled 5 Steps to Headstand. They do a great job of breaking down the various stages of headstand.

Giddy Yoga

When I first started doing yoga, I’d come back from class beaming: I did crow pose! I did handstand!

Fifteen years later I’m just as excited, but my achievements are a little more subtle. I get all excited when I figure out something like: if I pull my shoulder into the socket in warrior one, I can more easily square my hips, or if I come up into downward dog from child pose I won’t pinch my neck and shoulders.

I may not be on my way to circus yoga, but I’m just as giddy.