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Tripod Headstand – question about pressure on cranial bones.

I have a question that no one seems to know the exact answer to… In tripod headstand, no matter how I cushion my head, I feel like the floor is pushing the plates of my skull in slightly, like a slight shifting. Do you know what this is? I haven’t been practicing it because of it but am curious.


Dear Leslie,

When practicing  tripod headstand (hasta sirsasana) there is certainly pressure on the cranial bones. This is why when beginners are learning head balance, and they are inclined to do the tripod variation, instead of the hand-head cradle variation with forearms on floor, we discourage it. You may use a blanket to pad your head but only a 1/4 inch lift. Other wise it could jam the cervical vertebrae. Do be sure that your hands are on the sticky mat in order to get firm traction. The key in this pose is to prevent the elbows from splaying (you can use a strap over your lower humerus, just above your elbow to keep the upper arms parallel). Then be sure to powerfully lift your shoulder blades away from the floor. As with all inversions charge your inner legs upward to decompress the base of the pose.

The position on the head should be just anterior to the very crown point, so weight is on or near the anterior fontanelle. The pressure will help keep the stretch fibers within the sutures elastic, between the parietal, fontal and temporal bones of the skull.



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