Why Am I Feeling Weight In Headstand In My Elbows?

Transcript below of: Why am I feeling weight in headstand in my elbows?

Hey everybody! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. Of course, if you’ve got a question that you’d like to submit, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion. This month’s question comes from Aarti and it’s about distributing weight in headstand.

The Question:

Why does my body weight come onto my elbows during sirsasana (headstand)? What am I doing wrong? It happens irrespective of whether it’s assisted (near the wall) or not.

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The Answer:

Okay, good question. This one’s a little difficult Aarti, because I can’t see you doing your headstand. The first thing is, I guess it’s better that the weight in headstand is coming into your elbows more than it’s going into your head. That’s always a good thing. And, of course our ideal is that we distribute the weight in headstand through the entirety of our forearm, which does include our elbow. So, if you feel some weight in your elbows that’s not bad. But, I’m guessing that you’re feeling significant weight in the elbows, maybe even feeling your hands lifting up a little bit or feeling light or something like that. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have written the question.

We know it has nothing to do with the wall because you specified that near the wall or away from the wall, it really makes no difference. So, I’m going to guess at what the problem is because I see this a lot with people who are learning headstand. You might have been doing it for a while, but you still mention the wall, so you’re probably not one hundred percent comfortable.

What causes restriction?

What typically restricts people from getting straight, and as a result of not being straight not being able to distribute the weight in headstand fully in the entirety of the forearm, is not letting the pelvis tilt over enough. And that typically happens because it almost feels like you’re going to turn into a banana, a lot of people use that term, or be in too much of a backbend. But in reality, you need to let the pelvis tilt and the legs go up all the way and totally vertically, as if you were standing and then being upside down, which means that there is a little bit of a backbend there naturally.

If you don’t allow that little bit of a backbend, what it means is that your feet are going to be — in terms of the plane that you’re on — your feet are going to be closer to your elbows. That means your weight in headstand is going to be falling in that direction, which means that there is going to be more weight in your elbows that you’re trying to fight.

Finding serratus anterior

So, my guess is that you’re not getting to the straight point enough. And, if that’s not what it is, my second guess is you’re not engaging your serratus anterior enough. You’re not pressing through the entirety of your forearms enough to help distribute the weight. So, one thing to pay attention to is where the weight in headstand is. The other is your muscular engagement part of it.

And, I definitely have articles on the website. Type in headstand in the search function and you’ll find my headstand articles. I definitely talk about this and how to set it up and all that kind of stuff. Alright? I hope that helped. Anybody else, if you’ve got a question, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion and we’ll answer your question.