Here is a brand-new article the I freshly wrote for the brother Spectrum, wherein it appeared in this autumn edition.

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This article deals through the benefits, separation, personal, instance limitations, risks, feasible warm-ups and also proper execution of leg-behind-head postures, chiefly Ekapada Shirshasana. In some methods both the surname Ekapada Shirshasana as additionally the English leg-behind-head space misnomers due to the fact that the leg needs to be inserted much more down the neck, ideally listed below the T1 vertebra for the postures to it is in safe and also effective.


I will talk about here just the benefits the I in reality felt by practicing these postures end a lengthy time. Leg-behind-head postures are the right counter-postures come deep backbends. If you regularly practice postures such together Kapotasana or standing up from Urdhva Dhanurasana climate ideally you would counter them by including Leg-behind-head postures into your repertoire. Constant deep ago bending will certainly stretch the anterior muscles of your body but additionally the connective tissue, potentially consisting of the ligaments such as the anterior longitudinal ligament. This requirements to be counteracted by postures that work into the opposite direction.

Over extending the prior of the body end the long-term through deep ago bending can also lead to a ns of stability, i beg your pardon could end up being detrimental even without affect such together a loss or automobile accident. The rise in earlier bending flexibility should it is in accompanied by rise in stability. This is exactly what Leg-behind-head postures carry out at the spine and also maybe it would certainly be much better if us look at them together complementary to earlier bending rather that counter-postures.

Deep earlier bending taught me to be more open, non-judgemental, accommodating, embracing and also less strictly in instances in which ns otherwise wouldn’t have been. The does so by dissolving the safety character-armour roughly the heart.

What ago bending did not teach me at every was to stand up and to be unyielding in cases where I required to, as an example, stand-up against social unjust or environmental devastation. If you snapshot for instance Durvasasana, a posture where you stand upright top top one leg v the various other leg behind her head you have the right to imagine just how much you need to make yourself upright versus a compressive force. This dong confers an abilities when it comes to oppressive situations. The two are linked due to the fact that according come yoga, the body is the crystallized strata that the mind and also the psychic the vaporized or gaseous element of the body. The two are not truly separate things but an ext reflections of each other.

Leg-behind-head postures likewise make her chest solid and increase your breath volume i beg your pardon is an excellent later on for pranayama. They actually strengthen the diaphragm due to the fact that you have to bear down with it to elongate the lumbar cavity (which increases the timber intervertebral disc spaces, critical safety precaution). They likewise strengthen her back-extensor muscles which likewise makes them a great preparation for arm-balances.


Unfortunately, it’s a myth the everybody have the right to do leg-behind-head postures if just they practice long and hard enough. Over there is a huge range in how people’s i know good joints room formed, the length and shape the the neck the the femur, the moving angle the the femur and also whether the hip joint is retroverted or anteverted. If all the stated parameters in your instance are supportive then leg-behind-head will be an pure breeze. If, however, all these parameters are against you then uneven you invest seriously into surgery (I’m joking yet you obtain the point) friend haven’t gained a possibility to placed your foot behind your head. It’s crucial that you recognize that because I’ve seen people suffer because that years due to the fact that they assumed if just they exercised harder, they might get there. Castle couldn’t!


If her anatomical parameters mentioned over do not support your leg-behind-head or if you space not sufficiently prepared or no warmed up enough you could create arthritis in her cervical discs or of food in an extreme case rupture among them. You can additionally produce headaches or a long-term forward-head posture (which in itself creates tension and headaches). Additional down her spine friend could reason a lumbar disc prolapse and finally you might destabilise or jam your sacroiliac joints. Ns feel I have actually to describe this to protect against a gung-ho attitude of simply shoving the foot there, which often does more bad 보다 good. You can prevent demerit by proceeding cautiously and prudently.


The stronger your abs are the safer will you be in leg-behind-head. For that reason, I constantly recommend my students to develop abs like Tarzan. Ideal ways to achieve that is to yes, really burn your abs in Navasana (the posture whereby everyone chicken out) and to store trying to acquire your feet off the floor when jumping through and jumping ago (the 2nd posture wherein everyone chicken out). As soon as our abs are solid enough we can now go into the warm-up phase. Unless your hip joints are really flexible already it is an excellent practice come prepare yourself v warm-ups. They may be discarded as soon as you have created the necessary strength and also flexibility.

The trouble with this is if world don’t have the underlying assistance of the deep abs they will compensate by using other muscles and this is what leads to compensation patterns. If girlfriend don’t have stability your body is hard-wired to not permit you to work-related ‘hard’, so girlfriend won’t gain stronger. It doesn’t necessarily mean that working the posture tough will lead to strengthening the muscle you hope to target if the support toughness is no there.

This is a passive warm-up, usable when you have performed the vault one for part time there is no achieving the wanted results. Lie on your back and bend up your left leg, place the foot ~ above the floor. I uncovered that if you perform this posture through a right left foot it is for beginners as well taxing to keep the hips square, crucial ingredient. Carry now your ideal foot up in the direction of your forehead and place a sandbag of approximately 10 to 20 lbs ~ above your right foot. Balance the there with one or 2 hands if necessary. This can be a comfortable analysis posture if you regulate to host a book, when balancing the sandbag. Ns read most of the Ramayana in this position. Feeling the opening of your hip joint, do the posture to capacity and also then repeat ~ above the other side.

warm-up supine b:

Once girlfriend feel as necessary warmed up and also endowed v the necessary ab and main point strength, sit down with your left leg straight and your best leg bend up and resting ~ above your best arm. Throughout the adhering to avoid as much as feasible tilting the pelvis posteriorly because doing so would certainly flex the low ago and the much more you execute this the an ext stress you place on the lumbar discs as well as the sacroiliac joints. Rather of that focus on motion in the hip joint.

Guiding your right foot with your left hand, laterally turn your femur and also draw your knee behind your shoulder.

Leg – behind – head

Sitting upright

The final position would certainly ideally see your leg carried by her thoracic spine, definition the shin crosses the spine ~ above or below the T1 vertebra. If this is accomplished the posture becomes quite comfortable, a bit like as if friend would bring a heavy backpack. Keep in mind that at this suggest it is not your neck yet your shoulders that carry most that the weight of her leg.

Sit currently as upright as you can and open her chest fully. Feeling the load of the leg pressing against your spine. Examine the position of the short back. Most likely the natural lordosis of the low back has been changed to a slight kyphosis. Her low ago should one of two people be directly or only slightly kyphotic come move into the next stage, i m sorry is letting walk of the ideal foot.

Tuck in through your reduced abdominals as much as you can, inhale and bear down through your diaphragm. This actions an unified will elongate the form of the abdominal cavity and also create an ext space for you lumber discs, which helps to safeguard them indigenous disruption.

Reduce the backward traction performed by her left arm and also feel the load of the leg on your back or neck respectively. Sit as tall as feasible and as soon as you feel confident allow your ago take end all load from your left arm. It is essential that you perform not effort this feat if her leg quiet presses against the back of your head. Her neck is no designed to resist such a forward force if it is applied so high increase (the length of the bar measured from the T1 vertebra will certainly amplify the force) and also if you would attempt that on regular basis you would induce a irreversible forward head position. It is the sort of body place that we often see in world who invest too lot time on your handheld gadgets or in former of computer screens, specifically when the eye-sight is so bad that they need to relocate the head forward to view better.

Ekapada Shirshasana

Once you are confident that your back can lug the load of her leg you might now ar your hand in prayer place on your chest. Keeping the appropriate foot pointed frequently aids in protecting the knee. Store engaging the hamstrings top top the appropriate to continue the action of drawing the leg down the back. Only incredibly flexible people can revert that activity and job-related on straightening the foot (active relax technique). If friend are extremely proficient in this attitude this will actually obtain you also deeper into it, i.e. More open the hip joint.

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Gently illustration the chin backwards can also aid in arresting the leg more firmly in place. Sit as tall as feasible and flex your left foot and draw the left heel into the floor for stability. Continue to be to capacity and also then take it the leg the end of place using her left hand. Currently repeat every these measures on the left.

There are more variations of this posture throughout which you an initial bend forward into a Pashimottanasana-like position with one foot behind your head and also finally by placing your hands top top the floor and lifting your right leg up into Chakorasana and then jumping back into the plank. Attempt this versions just after you have the right to comfortably do the steps questioned so far. If you development cautiously to each consecutive step only as soon as you have end up being proficient in the previous one leg-behind-head postures will provide you permanent benefits without demerits. Enjoy!