Home 9 Yoga Poses 9 Head Stand pose (Sirsasana)

Head Stand pose (Sirsasana)

The Story Behind the Name:

Sirsasana – Head Stand (Shir-sa-asa-na) is considered by some to be the most important inversion and it is known as the King or the Father of All Yoga Poses, while is Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand) is referred to as the Queen or the Mother of Yoga Poses. And as per to ancient yogis and according to the ancient text these asanas together are considered foundational asanas on which the yoga practice should be built to bring health and vitality to the practitioner.

As assumed that Kingdom can’t prosper without a strong king, in yoga a person cannot grow without a healthy head or brain and the practice is incomplete without mastering the pose that benefits the mind and body profoundly.

Sirsha” means “head” and “asana” means “posture”, so Sirsasana is an asana that is done on the head. Standing on your head in proper alignment not only strengthens the whole body but calms the brain.

Sirsasana is the full inversion causes increased and unrestricted blood flow to the heart and the brain, refreshing the cardiovascular and lymphatic system and providing energizing effects for the whole body. This brings increased oxygen, nutrient and vitality providing energy to the mind, clarity of thought and ease of concentration.

Difficulty Level: 

  • Advance

Drishti point: 

  • Nose

Technical details and how to start: 

  • Get on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Bring your forearms to the floor, keeping your elbows directly under your shoulders.
  • Make a grip with each hand around the opposite elbow.
  • Release your hands from your elbows and make a grip with your hands together on the floor interlocking the fingers.
  • Place the crown of your head on the floor with the back of your head to rest at the bases of your thumbs or your hands can hold your skull.
  • Lift your hips and straighten your legs as if you were doing Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Carefully walk your feet in toward your head until your hips are as close to over your shoulders as possible.
  • Prepare and concentrate to lift yourself off the floor.
  • Keep both legs straight. Inhale as you lift your right leg straight up toward the ceiling.
  • Make sure your right leg is completely vertical and in line with your torso.
  • Once you feel steady, inhale and engage your core to lift your left leg up next to your right.
  • Pointing toes.
  • Stay here for 25 breaths or less depends on your ability.
  • To come back, follow the steps in reverse order.
  • Slowly, fold the legs and bring the thighs back to the vertical position.
  • Slowly, drop the legs to the ground.
  • Sit in Balasan/Child Pose for few minutes. 

Health Benefits: 

  • Stops hair loss.
  • Calms the brain.
  • Increases focus.
  • Strengthens arms and shoulders.
  • Help to cure varicose veins.
  • Treat sexual disorders.

Beginner’s tips

  • Make sure you have a trained yoga teacher near you when you perform the Sirsasana.
  • Always try first against the wall for safety.
  • Use a cushion or a blanket for better comfort.
  • Start with few breaths in the beginning and slowly build your stamina until 25 breaths.

Safety Precautions

  • Doing a headstand incorrectly can seriously injure your neck.
  • Avoid if you’ve recently had an injury or surgery involving your neck, spine, or head.
  • If in doubt about your medical condition check with your health practitioner before you start doing it.

Please Note:

People who decide to start practising Yoga and who are suffering from any cardiac problem, asthma, back pain, high blood pressure, neck, shoulder or spine injury or any other health related issue, should consult a doctor before starting any yogic activities and eliminate the positions that are not suitable for their particular case. Also, some particular asanas such as inversion asanas are not recommended for female practitioners who are menstruating.

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