Tripod Headstand - Safe?


#1

I’m wondering, what do you think of the tripod headstand? after reading yoga journal last november, i decided to practice going from bakasana to tripod and back to bakasana. well i hurt my neck and it took months to recover. i’ve now wiped tripod out of my practice and i don’t include it in my classes. i think it’s a tremendous amount of pressure on the head, which isn’t really intended to hold your body weight. on the other hand, maybe i’m gun shy (asana shy?) after my experience and i should “jump back on the horse” as they say.

Thoughts?


#2

There is nothing wrong with tripod headstands when they are done properly.
To be done properly they require A LOT of arm strength. There should be nearly no weight on your head/neck, it should mostly be on your arms. Most people who are in an advanced practice of headstands don’t can actually lift their head off the floor an inch or so while in headstands.

I would never suggest going from bakasana to tripod headstand without the assistance of an experienced teacher.

My thoughts are to attempt tripod headstand alone with a teacher, and possibly bakasana separately, and ask the teacher if they think you are ready to try flowing from bakasana to the tripod headstand. If they think you are ready ask them for instruction and help while doing it. Or even to spot you, to ensure you can’t hurt your neck again.


#3

Hello Julia,

Biomechanically speaking, it would be nearly impossible to bear the body weight on the arms in the pose you describe, presuming the body is at or near the vertical plane. If the body is pitched toward that foundational segment, the arms in this case then it is a bit easier. But the head most assuredly bears more weight in this pose than in a properly executed and aligned Sirsasana.

The idea of moving from pose to pose does serve some purposes in some situation for some students, as is clearly the case in Surya Namaskar. However I would not do nor advocate going from Bakasana to “tripod”. Methinks you’ve already garnered this lesson from the injury. Or perhaps it needs replication. Either may be the case when it aligns with your svadharma (personal purpose).

You know what they say - “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the results to be different”. Or as Einstein said, ‘no problem can be solved with the same consciousness that created it’.


#4

I have been practicing for over 10 years and I'm Kripalu certified. I never do tripod headstand, eventhough when I did, it was as correct as it could be.. I still hurt my cervical spine because my neck is tweaked from my upper back curve (40 degrees at the base of my cervical spine into my thoracic). It just puts too much weight on my head bo matter


#5

I have been practicing for over 10 years and I'm Kripalu certified, a little over 6 years ago. I never do tripod headstand, eventhough when I did, it was as correct as it could be.. I still hurt my cervical spine because my neck is tweaked from my upper back curve (40 degrees at the top of my thoracic). It just puts too much weight on my head no matter how "correctly" I do it. Students should take this pose with caution and it might work for some, but not me. And that's what yoga teaches us, the importance of listening to your body and not worrying so much about "aceing the pose" or comparing yourself to others. I feel proud in my decision because I'm listening to my body, which is unique & different than everyone else's. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND HONOR THAT. For the safety of your spine.


#6

It is easy , safe,, natural and doable to do headstand and handstand both by natural body posture than using any props.
Many people do headstand against wall , even that is not good because slight inclination can also shifts center of gravity and can put neck in wrong angle.

Always give first priority to save joints because once you have any issue, you won't be able to anything even simple posture after that.

I have taught my students headstand in very easy steps within a week without any props.


#7

I do the headstand with the hands clasped together then the weight is on the arms, from there you can press into scorpion pose by separating the hands and flatten palms.