Sālamba Śīrṣāsana - Supported Headstand
With the back to a wall, place the elbows shoulder-width apart, interlink the fingers to the hilt, no further than 4 inches/10 cm from the wall.
Check that the shape made by the arms is symmetrical and elbows are equal distance from the wall.
Take a few breaths while the little finger side of the wrist bones lengthen and descend, with a sense of the breath settling.
Without disturbing the integrity of the breath or the shape of the arms, place the crown of the head onto the floor and the back of the head into the cup of the hands, ensure that both sides of the neck feel long and that the weight does not tip forwards or back on the head.
Straighten the legs and walk in towards the wall, ensuring that the head remains comfortable and that the breath is open and spacious.
Practice regularly until confident, then when legs are walked in as close to the wall as possible, raise one leg poker straight to the wall and push the other from the floor to follow it, with a spring-like action.
Do not grip the eyes, brain or breath. Maintain a comfortable position on the head, imagining how well placed you would need to be if you were to practice the pose without the arm support and emulate that kind of alignment (keep the arms in situ).
Stay for up to 30 breaths at first, then build up to stay for as long as comfortable.
Not to be practiced without consultation from a senior yoga teacher by any one with any medical condition.
Not to be practiced during menstruation.
If there is pain in shoulders or neck come down and seek advice.
If there is tension in eyes or head come down and seek advice.