The Sanskrit word sirsha means head. This posture is the well-known headstand posture. Sirsha-asana is an extremely powerful asana. Its physical and mental benefits derive both from emphasis on balance and the body’s inverted position. It is called the “king of asana” because of its overall effect on the whole body.
Position of Readiness
Fold back both the legs at the knees and be seated on the heels of the feet.
Make the body straight. Keep the head, the neck and the spine in one line. Look in front. Put the palms on their respective side knees. Breathe normally.
You must use extra padding for the headstand, so use a folded blanket.
Lean forward. Interlock the fingers of your hands and place on the extra padding on the yoga mat. While keeping the elbows about shoulder distance apart place the back of your head against the inside of the interlocked fingers. Rise up off your knees and take a step or two towards your head.
Inhale, and slowly raise the legs until they are vertical. Keep your back straight and try to relax. Breathe slowly and deeply from the abdomen.
Stay in that position for fifteen sec.
While releasing, bend your knees and lower one leg and then the other. In initial stage, start off in the headstand for about 15 seconds and increase the time by 15 seconds every week, until you are doing three minutes.
It stimulates four of the most important endocrine glands – the pituitary, the pineal, the thyroid, and the parathyroid glands. It has a very beneficial effect on the whole body.
It improves many ailments, such as nervousness, tension, fatigue, sleeplessness, dullness, fear, poor blood circulation, bad memory, asthma, headaches, constipation, congested throat, liver or spleen, for female disorders, the initial stages of eye and nose troubles, and general lack of energy, vitality or self confidence.
It promotes hair growth by increasing circulation to the scalp improved brain function (intelligence and memory) and increased vitality and confidence.
It keeps the spine into correct alignment.
It restores the position of vital organs by reversing gravity.
It improves sleep.
It is recommended that, before attempting the Sirsha-asana beginners first mastered some of the more basic postures like Sarvanga-asana, Dhanura-asana, Ugra-asana, etc.
Beginners may start this in a corner so that they can practice it without the fear of falling down.
If you are suffering from high or low blood pressure you should not attempt this posture. First get your blood pressure normal by natural means like good nutrition, other asana etc.
The sirsha-asana should not be performed by woman who are menstruating, as is the case with all inverted postures (where the legs are raise over the head).
If you have any serious eye diseases, constipation, pus in your ears, chronic nasal catarrh, defective pituitary, pineal or thyroid gland, neck injury. Avoid this asana, it’s better to consult your physician.