How to Master the Eagle Headstand

Posted by Crystal Amelco on

Sometimes life can get so hectic that we need a little break. Yoga is about helping you relax and forget about your problems, not stress you out because you can’t do the moves right. But some yoga poses can be intimidating. The eagle headstand, or garuda salamba sirsana, is one of these intimidating moves.

This yoga move is very challenging at first but remember to take it slow, focus on your breath, and do the best you can. This yoga pose will help you see life from a new perspective by flipping things upside down (literally!) and increase the blood flow to your brain. It works the arms, shoulders, neck, hips, and core.

We will take you through the steps you can take to master this move.

  • Step 1- Stretch your body.

When facing a difficult move, it’s important that you don’t just rush into it. You need to limber up your body and warm up your muscles first. Do some stretches and your favorite moves until you feel prepped for the challenge ahead.


It’s important not just to engage the body but also engage the mind, so make sure you are paying attention to your breathing and releasing any negative energy from your body.


  • Step 2- Downward Dog

The first move that you will want to do is the downward dog to warm up the shoulders. To do this, stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend forward at the hips. Place your hands on the mat in front of you with your palms flat.

Make sure that your body creates an upside-down V, with straight legs and a straight torso. Hold this position for 8 breaths.


  • Step 3- Bent headstand for stability.

Next, you will place your forearms on the ground in front of you, staying in the V formation. Prop your head in between your forearms and walk your feet in towards your chest.

Push one leg up and then the other, bending your knees and your hips gently, balancing in this position.


  • Step 4- Bent headstand with leg extension.

When you feel confident in the bent leg position, you next need to extend your legs. You may need to hinge at the hips a bit more to counterbalance the weight of your legs but slowly you can begin to feel confident in this position as well.


  • Step 5- Straight torso with bent knees

Once you feel like your balance has once again regained its strength, its time to get rid of the bend at the hips. This is a crucial step to your ability to perfect the eagle headstand so take it slow.

You might want to make sure there is a wall behind your head that you can catch yourself with a big toe if needed. First, you will bend your knees and then swiftly straighten your torso.

Hold this position until you feel comfortable because up next you are in for the complete headstand.


  • Step 6- Master the regular headstand (Sirsana)


Now you need to extend your legs up. This requires a lot of balance and you might not get it the first try. If not, don’t worry. You can easily start over and try again.

Some people take weeks to get to this stage. Remember, any progress is still progress! You might need to increase your arm strength, core strength, or balance before you can get this down.


  • Step 7- Add eagle legs and you have succeeded!

Now that you can do a full headstand, all that is left is twirling your legs into an eagle pose. This might seem like a simple step but moving your legs around in this position challenges your balance even more. 

So, what do you think? Are you ready to try? Remember, be patient and celebrate the small progressions. You got this, girl!