Sirsasana or Supported Headstand is widely hailed at the King of yoga asanas. It is a headstand pose wherein your whole body becomes inverted. Since it is an advanced pose, you need to practice numerous other asanas before you can develop the strength and balance required to perform this asana perfectly. It can bestow a lot of great benefits for the mind and body. It is included in the Vinyasa yoga literature.
Here are the steps that you need to follow for performing Sirsasana.
Sit in Vajrasana as you start with the Sirsasana pose.
Bend your body forward and put your hands on the surface of the floor while you have your fingers intertwined. Make sure that your elbows and hands remain on the floor while you create a triangle with them.
Carefully and slowly put the upper part of your head on your intertwined fingers. Now hold your head firmly in place so that it does not move or slip in any way when you perform the asana.
Now gently move forward while you lift your buttocks slowly upwards. Keep your thighs perfectly perpendicular to the surface of the ground.
Move your knees a little inwards towards your abdomen. Try lifting the trunk of your body and the legs a little above the ground while you put pressure onto your hands. Hold your breath as you lift yourself above the ground. Once you are able to master this movement, you can carry on with the remaining steps.
Lift the trunk of your body further up till it becomes completely perpendicular to the surface of the ground. Your body’s entire weight will be supported by your head and hands. The legs and thighs during this stage are still not vertical. They are hanging midway just in front of your trunk.
Move your legs gently from the front to the back as you lift them. At this stage your legs are going to hang freely right at your back. Mastering this specific move perfectly will help you to achieve a good level of balance. You can keep your breathing perfectly normal at this stage.
Gently left the legs up and keep them aligned with the remaining of your body. At this stage, your whole body is going to be completely vertical. The weight of your body is going to remain mostly on your hands and partially on your head. As you reach this final position, you will have surplus flow of blood around your eyes and head. When you perform this asana during the initial stages, your eyes can turn red due to the increased amounts of blood that have accumulated in them. You need to know that this is perfectly normal and so you need not worry.
Stay in this position as long as you can without giving up on your comfort. Keep breathing normally in this position and focus your awareness on your breathing and around the head region.
When you want to release the pose, simply reverse the steps that you have performed so far for every stage. Bend your knees and slowly lower your thighs as you bring them close to your body. Drop your legs slowly so that your toes are lowered to the ground. Now release your hands and get back to your kneeling position.
After you have completed Sirsasana you must rest your body by going into Shavasana for some time so that the blood is evenly redistributed throughout your body. You can also perform Tadasana as this can bring down all the blood that has accumulated around the head region.
step images of sirsasana
Preparatory poses associated with Sirsasana
These are the main preparatory poses that you need to perform before doing Sirsasana.
Adho mukha śvānāsana
Follow up poses
Once you complete performing Sirsasana, make sure that you follow it with the asanas stated below.
Adho mukha śvānāsana
Beginners often put too much weight and stress on their necks and heads which can be quite harmful. It is always a good idea to perform this asana against a wall. Make sure that you do not rush through this asana and only master it gradually. You need to devote some time into achieving a balance before you can perform it just the way it is described above.
This asana should be ideally performed during the early morning hours as it ensures a huge gap from the time you had your dinner. If you are not able to do it in the morning, you can still perform it in the evening provided there is a long gap between your previous meals.
The science of Sirsasana
Sirsasana is one of the best poses for stimulating effective blood circulation throughout the body. This can help in managing and fighting numerous health problems at the same time. It is an advanced form of asana and therefore should be practiced under the guidance of a yoga teacher. It can also help in attaining a perfectly healthy mind and body.
Benefits of Sirsasana
These are the main health benefits of practicing Sirsasana.
By practicing Sirsasana, the practitioner can benefit from having oxygen-rich blood transmitted regularly to the brain which can help in proper nourishment to the brain cells. This can help to boost different types of mental functions.
The asana can induce a strong sense of calmness which can help in preventing migraine and headache.
The asana can help to revitalizing, rejuvenating and enhancing effectiveness of the brain cells.
This pose can work excellently when it comes to curing and managing diabetes. The asana directly works on pituitary gland and improve blood supply which can help in combating this disorder.
The asana can help in curing varicose veins, piles, asthma, sinusitis, insomnia as well as in fighting lethargy.
Sirsasana can help to fight sexual disorders like prostrate problems, leucorrhea, hydrocele, spermatorrhea as well as various menstrual and menopausal problems.
It can help in controlling numerous nervous and glandular disorders associated with poor functioning of pituitary glands.
The asana can work on thyroid gland to balance and improve the functioning of metabolic system.
Functioning of sensory organs is improved through this asana as it improves blood circulation in these organs.
The asana can transfer oxygen rich blood to facial skin which can enhance facial complexion.
Sirsasana supplies oxygen rich blood along with nutrients to head and scalp region. This can prevent baldness, hair fall as well as graying of hair.
Conditions such as astigmatism, myopia, catarrh as well as bad hearing can be improved when Sirsasana is practiced on a regular basis.
It offers relief from tonsillitis, colds, coughs, palpitations and halitosis.
If you are experiencing loss of sleep, vitality and compromised memory, then you should practice Sirsasana regularly as this can help in improving such problems.
RBC formation can be increased by regularly practice Sirsasana.
Precautions and contraindications associated with Sirsasana
These are the main precautions and contraindications that you need to keep in mind while performing Sirsasana.
Anyone who is suffering from heart malfunctioning, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, coronary or cerebral thrombosis, low blood pressure, conjunctivitis, cerebral blood hemorrhage, back injury, chronic glaucoma, kidney problems, neck injury, slipped disc or chronic catarrh should refrain from practicing sirsasana.
In some serious cases, people having highly impure blood may find these impurities moving into the brain while performing this asana.
Sirsasana should never be practiced after performing intense exercises since such workouts may release a lot of toxins from the body which can move to the brain.
Performing this asana is not advisable during menstruation or pregnancy.
You should immediately stop performing Sirsasna if you start experiencing dizziness, a headache, perspire a lot or have heart palpitations.
Practicing Sirsasana regularly can work out really well for your overall health in more ways than one. So make sure that you include this in your workout sessions.
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