Dimitris Papapetrou leads us through Half Headstand (Ardha Kapalasana), an inversion that will help to improve your sense of balance.

Benefits of Half Headstand

In yoga, we can overcome our fear of inversions and this is one of the greatest benefits of half headstand. You are faced with fear and insecurity and it challenges you to get out your comfort zone. By practicing this pose you build your strength in the wrists, arms and shoulders, while it also improves your sense of balance. Moreover, it strengthens and engages your core muscles.

Common Mistakes

Hands or elbows might be too wide. Don’t hatch your back, keep your spine straight. Don’t hurry to lift your legs and don’t forget to engage your core. Many students also forget to do a child’s pose at the end.


For newbies and beginner practitioners, you may experience some discomfort, even some pain in your wrists and hands. This is completely normal. This preparation is perfect for gaining the strength neccessary in both the wrist and the shoulder girdle to practice full headstand and handstand.


Get on all fours and place your hands on the floor keeping the elbows bent, breathe deeply and effortlessly, and place the top of your head on your mat. Lift your heels and walk your feet towards your elbows, keeping your back staight and place your knees on your triceps. At the end, stay in child’s pose for at least 15 seconds.

Dimitris Papapetrou is director of Yoga Europe

Find more Man on the Mat poses here.


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