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Sirshasana - Headstand Pose In Yoga, How to do Sirshasana - Headstand Pose In Yoga, Benefits of Sirshasana - Headstand Pose In Yoga, Precautions, & a note for yoga practitioners

Sirshasana – Headstand Pose In Yoga

Sirshasana (headstand pose) is an inverted asana that is a part of the Inverted group of yoga poses. It is mentioned in the book “Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha” by Swami Satyananda Saraswati that focuses on reversing the action of gravity on the body. Instead of everything being pulled towards the feet, the orientation shifts towards the head. Inverted asanas have many amazing benefits. It is also at times referred to as the king or the queen of all yoga poses.

How to do Sirshasana – Headstand Pose In Yoga

Stage I

  • Sit in vajrasana.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
  • After a few minutes, open the eyes, bend forward and place the forearms on a folded blanket with the fingers interlocked and the elbows in front of the knees.
  • The distance between the elbows should be equal to the distance from each elbow to the interlocked fingers, forming an equilateral triangle.
  • Place the crown of the head on the blanket between the interlocked fingers. Wrap the hands around the head to make a firm support so that it cannot roll backward when pressure is applied.

Stage 2 :

  • Lift the knees and buttocks off the floor and straighten the legs.

Stage 3: 

  • Slowly walk the feet as close as possible towards the trunk and head, gradually moving the back towards the vertical position.
  • Bend the knees slightly, press the thighs against the abdomen and lower chest.
  • Transfer the body weight slowly from the toes onto the head and arms, maintaining a steady balance.
  • Raise one foot off the floor about 20 cm, carefully balance, then raise the other foot and balance on the head and arms.

Stage 4 : 

  • Bending the knees, gradually raising the lower legs in a controlled movement. Adjust the trunk slightly to counterbalance the weight of the legs.
  • Fold the legs back so the heels move towards the buttocks.
  • To accomplish this movement contract the muscles of the lower back. 
  • The knees are now pointing down with the legs together.
  • Maintain the position for a few seconds, being aware of complete balance before proceeding.

Stage 5 :

  • Raise the knees to the vertical position. Keeping the heels near the buttocks, slowly straighten the hips so that the thighs move up and away from the torso.
  • Raise the knees until they point directly upward and the thighs are in line with the trunk.
  • Balance the body.

Stage 6 : 

  • Slowly straighten the knees and raise the lower legs.
  • The whole body should be in one straight line with the feet relaxed.
  • This is the final position.
  • Close the eyes and balance the whole body, relaxing in the final position for as long as is comfortable.

Stage 7 : 

  • Return to the starting position.
  • Slowly bend the knees and lower the body with control, in the reverse order, until the toes touch the floor. 
  • Remain with the head on the ground in the kneeling position for a short time, then slowly return to the upright position.

Breathing pattern while doing Sirshasana – Headstand Pose In Yoga

  • When first learning sirshasana, one may practise normal breathing while coming into the posture. Otherwise, inhale at the end of stage 1, and retain the breath inside while raising the body into the final position. Breathe normally in the final position.
  • The breath should become increasingly subtle in this posture as one becomes accustomed to it.

Sequence of doing Sirshasana – Headstand Pose In Yoga

  • When first learning, practise sirshasana at the end of the asana program; more experienced practitioners may perform it either at the beginning or the end. It should be followed by tadasana, as a counterpose, and then shavasana.

Benefits of doing Sirshasana – Headstand Pose In Yoga

  • This asana is very powerful for awakening sahasrara chakra and therefore it is considered the greatest of all asanas.
  • Sirshasana revitalizes the entire body and mind. It relieves anxiety and other psychological disturbances which form the root cause of many disorders such as asthma, hay fever, diabetes and menopausal imbalance.
  • It also helps to rectify many forms of nervous and glandular disorder, especially those related to the reproductive system.
  • This asana reverses the effect of gravity on the body. Strain on the back is thus alleviated and the reversed flow of blood in the legs and visceral regions aids tissue regeneration.
  • The weight of the abdominal organs on the diaphragm encourages deep exhalation so that larger amounts of carbon dioxide are removed from the lungs.

Precautions while doing Sirshasana – Headstand Pose In Yoga

  • Sirshasana should not be practised by people with neck problems, headache or migraine, high blood pressure, heart disease, thrombosis, arteriosclerosis, chronic catarrh, chronic constipation, kidney problems, impure blood, severe near-sightedness, weak blood vessels in the eye, conjunctivitis, chronic glaucoma, inflammation of the ears or any form of blood haemorrhage in the head. 
  • It should not be practised during pregnancy or menstruation.

Practice note 

  • In the final position, most of the weight of the body is sustained by the top of the head, the arms being used to maintain balance only. Beginners, however, may use the arms for support until the neck is strong enough to bear the full weight of the body, and a reasonable sense of balance has been developed.
  • If the practitioner should fall during the practice, the body should be kept as relaxed as possible. If the fall is forward, try to fold the knees into the chest so that the impact on the floor is sustained by the feet. If falling backwards, arch the back again so that the feet sustain the impact.

Inverted Yoga Poses Series

Sirshasana - Headstand Pose In Yoga is a part of the series on inverted yoga poses. Inverted yoga poses fundamentally shift the orientation towards the head instead of the feet. There are 14 yoga poses in this series. These yoga poses are refreshing and revitalizing since they help with better blood circulation. They improve health, reduce anxiety and stress, and increase self­ confidence.

List of all inverted yoga poses

  1. Bhumi Pada Mastakasana – Half Headstand Pose In Yoga
  2. Vipareeta Karani Asana – Inverted Pose In Yoga
  3. Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Pose In Yoga
  4. Moordhasana – Crown-based Pose In Yoga
  5. Padma Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Lotus Pose In Yoga 
  6. Poorva Halasana – Preliminary Plough Pose In Yoga
  7. Druta Halasana – Dynamic Plough Pose In Yoga
  8. Ardha Padma Halasana – Half Lotus Plough Pose In Yoga
  9. Stambhan Asana – Posture Of Retention In Yoga
  10. Sirshasana – Headstand Pose In Yoga
  11. Salamba Sirshasana – Supported Headstand Pose In Yoga
  12. Niralamba Sirshasana – Unsupported Headstand Pose In Yoga
  13. Oordhwa Padmasana – Headstand Lotus Pose In Yoga
  14. Kapali Asana – Forehead Supported Pose In Yoga

We hope you found this article on Sirshasana - Headstand Pose In Yoga helpful. This series is a part of intermediate yoga poses. As a beginner, you can also explore Sun Salutation, Pawanmuktasana series, relaxation postures in Yoga, meditation postures in Yoga. As a yoga practitioner, do read the basics of Yoga.

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