How to master Sirsasana (Headstand)

‘Sirsa’ is Sanskrit and means ‘head’. In yoga, Headstand is the ‘King of asanas’ because of the multiple benefits it brings to memory and concentration. It brings you great self-confidence when you learn to balance upside down, however, initially, it should be practised carefully under the guidance of a competent teacher.

For many years yogis have been using headstand to build up a healthy heart and brainpower, and the best part of it is that anybody can do it. You do not have to have a special body to perform this posture; Just follow the guidelines given slowly and step-by-step. Like this, you will learn it in a few just weeks.

Please note: While performing headstand, most of the body weight is on your arms and the rest of the weight can be on the head and the neck should be aligned with the spinal column.

How to come into Headstand: The Eight Steps

Starting position

Sit in Vajrasana hands on your thighs, close your eyes and relax (for few moments) before you perform Headstand.

Basic Instructions

  1. Sitting in Vajrasana. Touch your elbows with opposite hands. Lean forward and place your forearms on the mat approximately 20 cm away from the knees. Buttocks will be touching the heels.
  2. Elbows will remain where they are, open your hands and interlock your fingers. Like this, your elbows and hands make a tripod which will hold the most of the body weight.
  3. Lean forward and place the crown of your head on the mat, press your elbows and hands against the floor and support the back of your head with your hands. Remember to keep the neck straight and do not move your elbows.
  4. Keep the weight on the elbows, straighten your knees and point your hips towards the roof.
  5. Keeping the knees straight, walk a little forward until you feel the back straightening and the hips aligned with the head. The weight rests on the tripod.
  6. Slowly lift your feet off the mat, up to one by one. Bend your knees to the chest and bring your feet to the hips (use your core and lumbar muscles). Hold this position for at least 10 seconds and try to keep the back straight (weight on the tripod) . Don’t be in hurry to straighten your legs as this can lead to disbalance and you can fall on your back (very risky). Try to keep your breath in the rhythm and stay in half headstand for 30 seconds.
  7. Keeping the bent knees together, straighten your hips and slowly raise your knees up until they are pointing straight towards the roof. Keep most of the bodyweight on the tripod (elbows and forearms). Be aware of the balance in your lower back, so that your body doesn’t shake front or back.
  8. Keeping the weight on the elbows, straighten your knees and bring the feet up. Breath slow and deep.

Timing for Headstand

Initially stay in the posture for 5 seconds, slowly increase it to 10 minutes. Practise it every day for 5 to 10 minutes. Try to breath smooth and rhythmical while in the posture.

To Come Out of the Headstand

Keeping the body in control, slowly bend your knees, in the reverse order, until your toes touch the mat. Keep your head on the mat bend your knees and relax in Balasana for few seconds until your breath comes back to normal. Lie down in Savasana.

Benefits Of the Posture

  • This asana awakens the Sahasrara Chakra.
  • Very good for people suffering from anxiety.
  • Helps in relieving from psychological disturbances.
  • Sirsasana helps the stagnant blood to drain down from the lower parts of the body.
  • Sirsasana fights against the dropped stomach.
  • Improves eyesight and hearing.
  • Memory capacity is increased.

Yog Temple is a Yoga School and Healing Centre in Sweden, Austria and India. We offer Yoga Teacher Trainings, Yoga Retreats and Shamanism Courses.

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