Half Supported Headstand

Definition - What does Half Supported Headstand mean?

Half supported headstand is an intermediate inversion that requires balance and core strength. It is one of the yoga postures that serves as a preparatory pose for supported headstand and the full version of headstand.

In half supported headstand, the forearms rest on the floor with the fingers locked, forming a triangular shape. The crown of the head is placed on the ground between the forearms and the spine is perpendicular to the ground. Unlike supported headstand in which straight legs extend toward the sky, the legs are folded in half supported headstand with the knees pointing to the ground and the soles of the feet facing the sky.

Half supported headstand is also known by its Sanskrit name, ardha salamba sirsasana.

Half Supported Headstand

Yogapedia explains Half Supported Headstand

Half supported headstand shares many of the same physical, spiritual and mental benefits with the full version of the pose. In addition to improving focus and building confidence, half supported headstand:

  • Improves balance and builds core strength
  • Increases blood flow to the brain
  • Energizes the pineal and pituitary glands
  • Builds strength in the arms, shoulders and spine
  • Fortifies the lungs
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves some menopausal symptoms
  • May relieve insomnia
  • May provide relief for asthma and sinusitis sufferers

Yogis who suffer from the following conditions should not practice half supported headstand: back or neck injury, headache, high or low blood pressure or a heart condition. Menstruating women should also skip the pose. Pregnant women should avoid half supported headstand.

An alternate method of practicing half supported headstand is with the palms pressing into the mat, the elbows at a 90-degree angle, and the knees resting on the back of the upper arms.

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