[Pose Of the Week] Tripod Headstand Pose (Advanced)

Challenge your strength, balance, and more with Tripod Headstand Pose – for advanced yogis only!

Tripod Headstand Pose (Mukta Hasta Sirsasana) – also known as Free Hands (or Hands Free) Headstand Pose, is an advanced-level yoga pose that is commonly done in the second series of Ashtanga yoga. This headstand variation is quite challenging, so you should not attempt this one unless you are quite comfortable with regular Headstand Pose. Have patience as you move into this pose, and remember that mastering a pose like this takes time. The journey is its own reward!

Practicing Tripod Headstand pose offers the benefits of many other inversion poses, such as reducing pressure on the internal organs and increasing blood flow to the brain and other organs. It also strengthens the shoulders, back, neck, and core, and is believed to calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and stimulate the immune, cardiovascular, and lymphatic systems. This pose also stimulates the Third Eye and Crown chakras for improved focus, memory, and concentration, and a new perspective on life.

To modify the pose, you may wish to keep the toes on the floor as you practice stabilizing on your crown. Stay here for as long as you need to before you progress (this may mean weeks for some people, and months for others).

Those with high blood pressure, glaucoma, headaches, brain injuries, neck or back injuries, or vertigo, or those who are pregnant should avoid this pose.

How to Do Tripod Headstand Pose:

  • To enter this asana, the yogi begins in Dolphin pose (ardha pincha mayurasana).
  • The crown of the head rests on the mat between the arms and the knees move in close to the torso.
  • The weight of the body is transferred from the feet to the arms and head, with the arms at a 90-degree angle (arms can also be stretched out straight and diagonally, with palms pressing into the floor as shown here).
  • The legs are raised one at a time;
  • The palms remain on the floor with the arms and head working together as a supportive “tripod” base.
  • View demo here.
Learn more at YogaPedia.com


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