Ferrigno Fitness Yoga Feet Behind Head Posture – How To Put Your Feet Behind Your Head

Feet Behind Head Posture – How To Put Your Feet Behind Your Head

Summary: Feet behind head posture, also known as the Sirsasana pose in yoga, is a popular but challenging pose that involves placing both feet behind the head while in a headstand position. While this pose may look impressive, it requires a certain level of strength, flexibility, and practice to master without injury. In this article, we will explore the benefits, risks, how to perform the posture, modifications for beginners, common mistakes, and ways to improve and advance in the pose.

1. Benefits of Feet Behind Head Posture

The feet behind head posture has physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Physically, it strengthens the core, arms, shoulders, and neck muscles. It also stretches the hamstrings, hips, and back muscles, improving flexibility and balance. Mentally, it can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain and calming the nervous system. Lastly, emotionally, it can boost self-confidence and self-esteem by challenging oneself and achieving a difficult pose.

However, it is important to note that these benefits can only be attained with proper alignment and technique. Otherwise, the pose may cause more harm than good.

Overall, the feet behind head posture is a challenging but rewarding pose that can enhance overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

2. Risks and Precautions

While the feet behind head posture has many benefits, it also poses certain risks and precautions. One of the biggest risks is injury to the neck, spine, and shoulders if not performed correctly or with adequate preparation. Additionally, those with neck or spine injuries, high blood pressure, vertigo, or other medical conditions should avoid this pose altogether. Pregnant women should also refrain from performing this pose as it puts pressure on the abdomen and can cause harm to the baby.

It is crucial to warm up and stretch properly before attempting this pose and to have a qualified yoga instructor present to guide and assist. If any discomfort, pain, or difficulty breathing is experienced, the pose should be immediately released.

Remember to listen to your body and only attempt this pose when you are physically and mentally ready.

3. How to Perform Feet Behind Head Posture

To perform the feet behind head posture, begin in a tripod headstand (sirsasana II). Place the forearms on the mat with the palms facing down, in front of the head. Interlace the fingers and keep the elbows shoulder-width apart. Lift the knees off the mat and walk the feet towards the head, one at a time. Use core strength and engage the lower abs to bring both legs over the head. Keep the neck straight and avoid crunching the chin to the chest. Flex the feet and point the toes to the sky.

Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, gradually increasing the duration with practice. To release, lower one foot at a time back to the mat and return to the tripod headstand.

Remember to practice this pose only under the guidance of a qualified instructor and after proper warm-up and preparation.

4. Modifications for Beginners

For beginners, it is important to start with simpler poses to build strength, flexibility, and confidence before attempting the feet behind head posture. Practicing dolphin pose, plank, crow pose, and other arm balances can help build the necessary arm, core, and shoulder strength. Hip-opening stretches, such as pigeon pose and lizard pose, can help increase hip flexibility. Supported headstand with the help of a wall or a partner can also be a useful modification.

As you progress, the feet behind head posture can be attempted with the help of a partner or a strap to ease into the pose and maintain proper alignment.

Remember that progress takes time and patience, so do not rush or force any pose.

5. Common Mistakes in Feet Behind Head Posture

One common mistake in the feet behind head posture is not engaging the core enough, which can lead to an unbalanced and wobbly pose, or collapse onto the neck and shoulders. Another mistake is crunching the chin to the chest, which can strain the neck and cause discomfort. Improper alignment and lack of flexibility can also lead to injuries or frustration.

To avoid these mistakes, focus on engaging the core throughout the pose, keeping the neck long and neutral, and practicing proper alignment and modifications before advancing in the pose.

Remember to listen to your body and take breaks or seek assistance when necessary.


The feet behind head posture is a challenging but rewarding pose that has many physical, mental, and emotional benefits. However, it requires proper alignment, technique, and preparation to avoid injury and fully attain the benefits. By understanding the risks and precautions, practicing modifications for beginners, avoiding common mistakes, and patiently progressing with practice, the feet behind head posture can be a valuable addition to one’s yoga practice.

Remember to always prioritize safety, listen to your body, and seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor before attempting any new pose. Enjoy the journey and celebrate the progress along the way!

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