Headstand Pose (Sirsasana)

Headstand Pose is called the “father” of all yoga poses due to its complexity and endless benefits, it is also known as Sirsasana. Headstand Pose is a difficult and advanced yogasana with many benefits. It is an invert tadasana where energy of your body goes into your head and create a stimulation and equanimity as gravity is pulled through your head. [pullquote-right]This is a very serious balancing asana of the body upside down on the crown of your head, not to threaten, it may cause a serious injury to your body, especially to the head, neck, shoulders, and spine.[/pullquote-right] Before going for headstand, you must work on your neck and shoulder muscles to make them strong and flexible. You should also be able to do all the basic yogic exercises before you can perform this asana.

Initially, 5 to 10 minutes sirsasana is more than enough. Once you have mastered the practice, you can try different variations of the leg. After doing the sirsasana, first do the tadasana to bring back the blood flow in the body, and then lie down in shavasana as a resting pose for a few minutes.

In any case, do not attempt any variation of sirsasana without the help from an experienced yoga instructor or a friend to look over as there is always a danger of falling and causing injury.

 Supported Head Stand (Salamba Sirsasana Yoga)

Since it is an advanced asana, for beginners, it is advisable to practice the pose against a wall. To be on the safer side, practice it in a corner of the wall to avoid the fall. You can use a folded blanket under your forearms and hands for comfort and padding.

Place the blanket alongside the wall. Bring your elbows to the floor and keep them shoulder-width apart, interlace your fingers and put the crown of your head on the ground in the fingers, and now make a strong grip around the head, and press the elbows against the ground. Now your body should be in a rolling position, roll your hips upward by walking close to the chest. Remember, you need to hold and focus on the each movement, so, don’t hurry.

Now the most difficult and important one, exhale, and try to lift both feet away from the floor and straight in the air to place the heels on the wall, you can be sure that your body is against the wall and you are not going to topple. Still, it requires a little courage and confidence initially, its all about balancing your legs in the air. Try to use more skill and balance than effort. Dont worry, gradually, you will be able to lift your feet. You can also bend your knees to create a balance. Once you are able to raise both of your legs in the air, focus to straighten your spine by stretching the legs continuously up in the air toward the ceiling, try not to take the support of the wall and rest your buttock in the wall.

supported sirsasana against the wallImage Credit: gokarnayoga.com

In an ideal position, your entire body should be erect with no bend, and the whole body weight should be on the crown of your head. You use the elbows to create the balance only not to put the body-weight on it. Do not overwork in this pose.

Releasing the asana is equally important as holding it. Release in the same way you have pose it, bend your knees, roll your feet to the ground slowly, and once feet touch the floor, stand up slowly. Generally, Sirsasana is not repeated once you are out of the pose.

Once you feel expert doing this asana against the wall, try to do it without the wall or further the wall. There is another way of practicing it in front of a mirror so that you can see the poor alignments of your body to make them correct.



Unsupported Head Stand (Niralamba Sirsasana Yoga)

Once you are totally expert at doing supported sirsasana, then only you should try the unsupported variation. This is more classical and difficult to perform as you do not use your arms to balance the body and the entire body is rested on the crown of your head upside down. Arms are either kept on the side of the body, or in front of the body.

Beginners, who have just started practicing sirsasana, should not at all try this variation, it can cause serious injury to your neck and spine. Generally, in any yoga classes, this asana is taught at a very advance level under the strict supervision.

There are again many variations in the niralamba sirsasana depending upon the position of your arms.

Technique

Just like, sirsasana, initially, you can try this asana against the wall for safety. Technique is same as in the supported head stand, except, once you are comfortably in the sirsasana upside down, you have to move away your hands carefully either in the sides or in the front as you feel comfortable. In this case, entire weight has to be balanced on the crown of the head, arms can also be used to maintain the balance.

niralamba-sirshasanaImage Credit: omtripura.files.wordpress.com

To release the position, again take your hands back to the same position as it were in the supported head stand pose. Now gradually release the pose as described earlier.
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Benefits

  1. All body beneft.
  2. Build strength in the spine, arms, legs, shoulders and neck.
  3. Revers signs of aging.
  4. Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands
  5. Tone abdomin and improves digestion
  6. Calms the mind, increases mental awareness and clarity.
  7. Relieves the symptoms of asthma, infertility, and insomnia.
  8. Stimulates pituitary and pineal glands.
  9. Allows a healthy, pure blood flow to brain cells and stimulates the nervous system.
  10. Best asana for the treatment of headaches, anxiety, depression, memory loss, and diabetes.
  11. Stimulates and strengthens the lungs and facilitate healthy breathing.
  12. Help overcome problems of the liver and kidneys as well.

Precautions

  1. Do not wear the glasses practicing it.
  2. Avoid it if you have chronic or recent neck or shoulder injuries.
  3. Person with high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke.

It is advisable to perform any asana in the supervision of a qualified yoga instructor.

Cheery

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