How Physics Taught Me to do a Headstand in a Day

(and you can too!)

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My freshman year of college, I started practicing yoga and have loved it ever since!

I’ve always wanted to learn how to do a headstand (a.k.a. shirshasana in yoga terms), and I finally taught myself how to do it. Well, I had a little help: physics!

The 3 physics concepts I used to learn how to do a headstand

Physics is all around us. It describes motion, energy, and… yoga!

Inverted Pendulum diagram illustrating center of mass is above pivot point in a headstand

Center of mass

the point in a body where all weight is evenly distributed. In humans, this point is by the belly button. 

For the center of mass to be truly in the center of my body, above my wrists, I had to keep my body rigid and straight. 

Pivot point

the position in which a body balances or turns. 

In headstands, your pivot point is your hands and head, since your body is balancing on them. 

Inverted pendulum

describes a body whose center of mass is above the pivot point. 

While doing a headstand, your belly button (center of mass) is above your hands and head (pivot point). 

Although my successful headstand attempt took a bunch of tries, it was so worth it!

I’m looking forward to incorporating this new yoga move in my routine, and I found there are awesome benefits of headstands.

Benefits of headstands

Possible benefits of headstands (according to include…

  • Calm mind
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve upper body, spine and core strength
  • Boost digestion
  • Prevent headache

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