Extended Leg Headstand Yoga Pose
overview

Extended Leg Headstand Yoga Pose is a balance, inversion pose that targets the hamstrings and calves and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an advanced level.

sahasrara – the crown chakra
related poses
How To Do Extended Leg Headstand Yoga Pose
  1. Start by performing the Headstand (Sirsasana). Open the hips, then slowly and carefully begin to open the legs.
  2. Exhale, lowering your left leg forward and your right leg back, bending only at the hip joints. Think of your hips as a hinge as you slowly bring your legs into place. By bringing the legs down, your hips will naturally begin to open while moving in the direction of your legs; do not try to keep them parallel. Your left foot should be pointing the same direction as your face, your right foot pointing directly behind you. Your legs should either be close together, following the midline, or they can be positioned directly above your hips.
  3. Keep your core strong, activating the abdominal muscles. Pull your navel in toward your tailbone and your lower back away from your ribs, preventing your lower back from becoming too curved.
  4. Evenly bringing down your legs probably won’t happen right away. Your back leg will likely lift higher than the front, bending at the knee. Focus on keeping an even height with each leg, keeping them as straight as possible. The level to which you lower your legs is dependent on your flexibility, and if you’re flexible enough you can bring them all the way down horizontally to a full-split. In this case, try to vary the position and keep some lift in your legs occasionally, feeling the energy flowing up your body and up through your legs.
  5. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. To come out, lift both of your legs slowly back into the Headstand. You may stay in the Headstand as a follow-up or release yourself from the position.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • Only perform this asana if comfortable in the Headstand position.
  • Do not perform if you are suffering from back or neck injury, high blood pressure (hypertension), low blood pressure, heart condition or frequent headaches.
  • Do not perform during menstruation or pregnancy.
Tips

Take a look at the Headstand (Sirsasana) informational page again before performing this asana. Many of the same Tips still apply — for instance, make sure not to compress your neck when in this position. Try starting out with most of your weight on your arms and shoulders, before gradually releasing it into your head.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Hamstrings, calves, quads, abs, arms, back

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, calves, abs

Health Benefits of Extended Leg Headstand Yoga Pose
  • Can help relieve stress, anxiety and mild depression.
  • Strengthens lungs and increases lung capacity.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Can help relieve symptoms associated with menopause, asthma, insomnia and sinusitis.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Utthita Pada Sirsasana

(oo-TEE-tah pah-dah shear-shAHS-anna)

utthita: extended, risen, elevated
pada: leg, foot
sirsa: head, front, skull
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?