The half lotus headstand -- ardha padmsirsasana -- is one of the easiest and must-do variation for those who want to reach into more advanced headstand variations. This one is a dynamic drop and lift in the half lotus and may be tricky even for advanced students unless they practice to lift from their core. Here the center keeps shifting to the back, as the hips move with the legs, and then you lift as you shift your center. It makes it very meditative in that sense, since you must watch against the elbows lifting over. So you power up from the shoulders to hold yourself on the floor. As your practice improves this is a good way to ensure that you are really chilled out in the headstand. For me, as a teacher too, it is exciting to watch students transit to a comfortable headstand. For most practitioners headstand is also a very stiff pose. I myself believe the shift in the lightness of being in the headstand comes only with a shift of perspective -- when you hold with strenght, the headstand is a very egotistic pose. When you hold lightly, it is an egoless pose!! Really... It is lovely to sense this transit...
What you need for this pose:
- Ability to do the two-legged drop or one-legged drop to the floor with ease, from the headstand.
- A comfortable half-lotus.
- Ability to shift focus from elbows, to shoulders, to hips and legs seamlessly.
- Lack of fear, over falling -- the most crucial ingredient in a headstand:)