- Also known as: sirsasana, headstand, salamba sirsasana
- Targets: Lower Back, Biceps and Triceps, Neck
- Type : inverted
How to Do Headstand correctly
Headstand is an inverted Yoga Pose, that is upside-down pose, in modern yoga as exercise.
Headstand Yoga Pose improves blood circulation because of its anti-gravity effect on body·
It powers up your digestive functions by increasing the metabolism process.
Headstand helps in strengthening heart muscles and all other cardio-vascular systems.
Etymology and origins
Salamba meaning “supported”
Sirsa meaning “head”
Asana meaning “posture” or “seat”
The name Salamba Shirshasana comes from the Sanskrit language.
The 11th century Yogasastra names it Kapalikarana or “head technique”.
Headstand from 1830 manuscript of the Joga Pradipika.
It is a top labelled kapali asana.
The 18th century Joga Pradipika calls it Kapali asana or head posture. It described as a mudra in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It is number 17 of the set of 84 asanas described and illustrated in the Joga Pradipika.
In modern era, the 19th century Sritattvanidhi uses the name Sirsasana or Kapalasana for this Yogasana.
Preparatory Poses (Purva asana)
Salamba sirsasana is not a pose for raw beginners. But, practice makes a man perfect. Proficiency in some preliminary asanas will prevent complications in Headstand.
(a). Standing Cow Face Pose or Tadasana Gomukhasana
Practicing Mountain Pose (Tadasana) along with Gomukhasana will help you create a solid base.
It gives you a feeling of lightness when you lift weight away from your neck and head in the Headstand Pose.
Tadasana helps to get a flexible and strong spinal cord that maximizes the benefits from Headstand pose.
Cow Face Pose or Gomukhasana is very effective for male reproductive system.
This pose increases the quality, quantity and hardness of male sperms.
Gomukhasana provides the necessary increase in shoulder mobility.
(b). Shoulderstand or Salamba Sarvangasana
This pose is the second most important Preparatory Yoga pose, after Tadasana.
This pose tones up the spinal muscles.
(c). Downward Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana
This pose creates balance, strength, stability Sirsasana.
Since the legs get stretched, hamstrings and hips muscles become strong.
This Yoga pose increases strength in shoulder muscles that helps while doing headstand pose.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward-Facing Dog pose opens and strengthens the shoulders.
(d). Intense Leg Stretch Pose or Prasarita Padottanasana
It helps to put the body weight on the head. It ensures lightness in your legs.
This Yoga Pose increases the strength and flexibility of chest.
It also reduces the belly fat, preventing any sign of obesity.
This, further, helps to reduce pressure of body weight on the neck, while doing Headstand pose.
HOW TO DO HEADSTAND
Headstand pose : step-by-step instructions
Let us begin this pose in a step by step method making it easy and comfortable for every age group.
The correct steps to perform a Headstand and gain the amazing benefits:-
- Come on your all fours on a yoga mat.
Sit in a kneel-down position.
Rest your forearms on the center of the mat/blanket.
Interlock your fingers right up to the finger-tips so that the palms form a cup.
Make sure your elbows are shoulder-distance apart and not wider than the this.
- Place the crown of your head on the mat and back of the head against the cupped hands.
Now, move your knees towards the head.
With an Inhalation, uplift your knees off the ground.
- Bring your body into an inverted V-position.
Walk your feet nearer to your elbows.
Make sure to keep your heels raised.
Feel the weight on the neck and shoulders.
After attaining this position take few breaths.
- Slowly, lift your feet off the ground in such a way that both feet leave the floor simultaneously.
Now, slowly bring your knees closer to your chest.
- Gently extend your legs upward.
Keep the whole body perpendicular to the ground.
Take care to maintain equilibrium making sure the spine, thighs and hips are in line. Take some deep breaths here.
- Evenly distribute your weight between both forearms. Remain in this pose for atleast 20–30 seconds.
- To release the posture, simply reverse the process of going up. Exhale, bend your knees. Simultaneously, lower your feet toward your buttocks before moving your knees toward your chest. Now, rest your feet on the yoga mat. Make sure to maintain the length of your neck and spine.
NOTE : Headstand Pose or Salamba Sirsasana is an Advance Level Asana. This pose should be practiced under the guidance of an Expert Yoga Trainer.
Post Pose (Paschat asana)
- Child Pose or Balasana : This pose works on resting the neck muscles and supports the elongated spine at the Headstand. The hip is relaxed in this pose.
- Shoulder Stand Pose or Sarvangasana : This pose will bring balance to the spine and the neck which were put to pressure during the practice of Sirsasana. This is very helpful for strengthening blood capillaries, blood vessels.
- Corpse Pose or Savasana : This pose increses blood circulation equally in each body parts. This is helpful in reducing stress and increasing body organ capacity.
HEADSTAND MODIFICATIONS AND VARIATIONS
- Initially, use a partner to help you raise your legs. Make sure, your shoulders and neck are strong enough to handle the pressure of your body weight.
- You can go half way also. For this, bend both the knees and bring the feet off the floor. Try to balance here for a few breaths. Once the confidence is built go the next step. Support the shoulders, neck and elbows with enough padding from blankets.
- Use the wall support by bringing just about 2-3 inches distance between the wall and the placing of your palms. It is better to use the corner wall. Corner walls help to get the support from two sides. Thus, your back will remain straight and not incline causing more pressure at the neck.
- Work with one leg at a time. Start with using the corner wall and slowly walk both legs towards your chest. Then, firstly, bring your one leg up and practice this balance for a while. Then go on for the other leg. Repeat this practice for a considerable amount of time. Regular practice will help you to achieve the final pose.
- Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
- Plow Pose (Halasana)
- upward lotus in headstand (urdhva padmasana shirsasana)
- seated angle pose in headstand (upavistha konasana shirsasana)
- single leg headstand (parshvaikapada shirsasana)
- free hands headstand (mukta hasta shirsasana)
- headstand backbend (dvi pada viparita dandasana)
Headstand Pose Contraindications
Who should not do Headstand Pose or Sirsasana?
Headstand pose should not be done by people suffering from following complications:-
- high blood pressure
- heart palpitations , heart disease
- during menstruation
- hiatal hernia
- back injury
- pregnant women
- Blood hemorrhage
- obesity, as the weight may be too heavy for the eyes and the neck.
What are the physical benefits of Headstand pose on Body?
- Since the body is inverted, it provides room for better blood circulation to the brain and eyes.
- corrects the postural defects,
- Helps to realign the vertebral column
- Puts pressure on the pituitary glands functioning
- removes toxins from the lungs
- stimulates the nervous system
- strengthens the neck, spine, shoulders
What are the health benefits of Headstand Pose?
Headstand pose helps in
- Curing headaches and migraine
- Healing of diabetes.
- Solution for stress, anxiety and anger management.
- Prevention of asthma.
- Removal of menopausal imbalances.
- Curing disorders with the reproductive system, nervous systems
- Calms the brain
- helps relieve stress and mild depression.
- Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands.
- Strengthens the arms, legs, and spine.
- Strengthens the lungs.
- Tones the abdominal organs.
- Improves digestion.
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
- Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis.
Top 7 Amazing Benefits of Headstand
(1). Improves Sexual Health
The headstand enhances the blood flow to the head, glands, and other organs of the body.
It drains out the blood from the endocrine glands and results in optimal functioning of the sexual glands.
It improves the quality and quantity of Healthy Sperms in Male.
(2). Provides massive Strength to the Body
While holding yourself up on the head in the headstand Pose, you utilize the strength of your arms, shoulders, and spinal cord to reduce the pressure from your head and neck.
Yoga guru suggests to lift your own body weight.
Headstand improves muscle endurance.
A strong muscles helps to uplift the upper body strength.
(3). Healthy Hair Growth
The Headstand is the best yoga posture to optimize the flow of nutrients and blood to your scalp region.
Perform the upside-down headstand yoga pose that enhances the supply of nutrients to the hair follicles, preventing hair fall, and grants the practitioners with strong and healthy hair.
(4). Stimulates Nervous system
Since the body is inverted, like upside-down, it gives room for better blood flow to the brain and eyes.
The skull encases the brain which regulates the nervous system and other organs of the body.
The brain is the center of the cognitive functioning of the humans.
Headstand yoga posture increases the supply of pure blood, rich in oxygen, to the brain cells making them healthy.
Robust brain cells result in an improvement in cognitive functioning, enhance focus, and clear the thoughts.
The nutrients and blood nourish the brain cells and elevate the functioning of the brain.
(5). Remedy For Hypertension
The inverted position greatly increases the blood flow and normalizes the blood pressure.
Practicing Sirsasana is a great remedy for people suffering from hypertension.
(6). Improves Vision
The consistent practice of headstand improves vision.
Going upside down increases the blood flow, rich in essential nutrients, to the sensory organs.
This makes the ciliary muscles stronger.
Headstand Yoga pose prevents various eye complexities such as cataract, myopia, astigmatism etc.
(7). Energize the Mind
Headstand is the best way to calm the staggering stress.
It increases the flow of oxygen rich pure-blood to the brain.
The hormones from these glands efficiently kills all the worries, depression, insomnia etc.
Yoga Guru suggests few things to consider before going up for the final Headstand Pose
- The headstand brings alertness and wakefulness thus should be practiced in the morning on an empty stomach for the maximum benefits.
- Since the whole body weight is on the arms, stomach, shoulders, and pectorals, these have to be strong enough to reduce the pressure of whole body weight on the delicate neck.
Practice poses like the boat pose, the wide legged forward bend, dolphin plank for this purpose.
- Anyone can do this pose everyday, except during a woman’s period cycle.
- Build the stamina to hold the pose with time. Initially you can hold it for atleast 20-30 seconds.
Headstands should be practiced diligently till when you can hold the pose for at least 2-5 minutes.
What are the precautions to take while doing Headstand Pose?
The stretch of the legs is crucial: It helps to lift the pelvis comfortably. It prevents the sacrum from sinking into the lower back. This helps in elongating the neck.
In the very early stages of practice, hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
If you experience any pain or compression in your neck, come down, reposition your head, and go back up.
Lets intensify the Headstand pose for the maximum benefits.
(a). Bound Angle Pose in Headstand (Baddha Konasana)
When your body is stable, up there in Headstand, bring the feet in the air in Namaste (Welcome pose), throwing the knees. A lot of pressure will be felt at the head.
(b). Eagle Legs in Headstand
When you have practiced enough to gain stability in Headstand, gently bring one knee over the other. It should be in a way that it interlocks the thighs.
Now, move one leg behind the other leg.
This yoga pose is called the Eagle Pose. Hold this pose for a few breaths.
Repeat this pose with the other way and change the position of the thighs.
(c). Twisting Splits in Headstand
Extend your legs wide.
Bring wide opened legs backwards and forwards. Split them front and back.
At first, practice this with one leg first before going into the split.
This requires a lot of practice to do because a slight imbalance can be dangerous for your neck.
(d). Lotus legs in Headstand
Bring your legs in Lotus Pose or Padmasana.
The flexibility of the legs help in going into the Lotus pose without the use of hands.
So, it is better to practice this pose seated without using the hands to go to this level in Headstand.
(e). Wide Legged Headstand
Once you are in a stable Headstand or Sirsasana Pose, begin to open your legs sideways like a split. While doing the splits, its necessary for you to balance the body here for few breaths.
Headstand or Salamba Sirsasana or simply Sirsasana is glorified as the “king” of all the Yogasanas.
A regular practice of this yoga pose helps in developing immunity. This pose is an advance level pose. It should be done under Yoga Expert or Guru.
Initially, one can do it for atleast 20-30 seconds, holding the pose, up there in final Headstand posture.
Headstand removes toxins from the lungs, and circulates Oxygen rich pure blood to each and every organs pf the body. This stimulates every organs and systems in the body.
Headstand Yoga Pose helps in curing Sexual disorders, headaches, migraine etc. It is the best yoga pose for anger management, stress reduction.
Regular Headstand Yogi have Glowing Face and attains Enlightenment.
Please Ask directly in the comment section.
Do Let Us know – Which Headstand Benefits You liked the most?
Share your Headstad Story – How much time You devoted to master this yoga pose?
Any Beginner, under an expert, can hold the final headstand Pose for 30 seconds. As You get mastery, you can increase it 5-10 minutes. Any Advanced level Yogi can hold this for 30 minutes for Impressive results.
YES, you can increase Quality Sperm Count or Testosterone level with regular practice of Headstand or Sirsasana. Headstand pose rectifies sexual disorders like sperm deficiency and other sexual problems.
Any person with following complications should Strictly Avoid doing Headstand or Sirsasana –
(1). High Blood Pressure
(3). Heart Palpitations , Heart Disease
(4). During Menstruation
(5). Hiatal Hernia
(6). Back Injury
(7). Pregnant Women
(8). Blood Hemorrhage
Definitely YES, a White Noise Music set at some particular frequency can help you to focus intensely while doing different yoga poses like Headstand. White Noise Music obstructs external disturbances and lets you focus on a particular work.
Yes, you can deeper your voice with regular practice of Headstand or Sirsasana. Along with, practicing Headstand, you need to follow complete Celibacy, take balanced diet food, quality sleep, you will experience deepening of your voice that can attract any person towards You.