Start by lying down on the floor in the supine position, breathe in, bend the knees and lift the legs up and over the torso on the out breath, while supporting the back with both hands. Place the legs over your head with the toes touching the floor. Keep the legs stretched and the shoulders down and relaxed, while lifting the tailbone toward the ceiling. You can keep the hands on the back or place them on the floor behind you.
This pose can put significant strain on the cervical spine (which is not designed to support this type of weight). As alternatives, simply lying on the back and raising the legs into a hamstring stretch, or doing a seated forward bend may be more appropriate.
Yoga positions that can cause injury include plow posture, “bow” or “wheel” and the headstand.