Shirshasana, Sirsana, Sirshasana, Head Stand
How to perform Shirshasana
Fold a blanket and place it in front of you. Sit on your toes and place your knees on the floor. Grab your elbows with your hands so that your lower arms touch each other. Place your arms in front of your knees. Now open your arms and interlace your fingers in front of your knees on the blanket so that your hands look like a triangle.
Place the top of your head on the blanket and support the back of your head with your interlaced hands by placing them on the back of your head. Straighten your knees so that you are only on your feet, arms and head. Make sure your back is also straight.
Now slowly shift your body weight to the front, over your head, and walk closer to your body with your toes. When you feel your back is in an angle of 90 degrees to the floor, start lifting your feet with exhalation from the ground and bring them up and straight, in vertical alignment with your body.
When you feel strain or, at the maximum, after three to five minutes, you slowly bring your feet down to the floor and come out of the pose.
Benefits of Shirshasana
The head stand is considered as one of the best yoga poses because of its vast amount of benefits and is, for that reason, sometimes called the ‘King of Yoga Poses’
Through the upside-down position, your blood flows more easily down where now is your head and your brain. This inversion is good for the blood circulation and your heart. The blood is purified and cleansed through its strengthened flow.
Through the easy flow of blood into your head, the whole area is supplied with fresh oxygen which helps your brain to work properly and better. You will realize that you can concentrate better and your memory improved.
A better blood circulation can prevent headaches and migraines. People suffering from insomnia can also get relief by practicing this yoga pose. Even epilepsy is said to be relieved for yoga practitioners who do the head stand.
Your ears, eyes and nose benefit from the circulation as well and many issues can be prevented through inverted yoga postures like Shirshasana.
The scalp is supplied with blood which stimulates the growth of hair and can even prevent hair loss if it was caused by poor circulation.
This yoga exercise stimulates the thyroid gland, the pituitary and the pineal glands and thus improves their functions.
Of course it is an exercise that strengthens your muscles and with all these effects it also makes your immune system stronger and more resistant.
The head stand is also said to help with many sexual problems.
Keep normal breathing while you are in this pose. Try to straighten your legs up so that your body is a straight vertical line.
Tips and Help
Before performing Shirshasana you should already be warm and have done some exercise. Exhaling while lifting your legs will make it easier for you to come up.
If you are new to this exercise, you can first practice performing Ardha Shirshasana and when you have gained balance in this pose move on to the full head stand.
When to avoid Shirshasana
Do not hold this pose for a longer time, even though you feel you are capable of doing so. The pressure on your head and the blood circulating there can have negative effects if you hold the pose too long. Whenever you feel strain, come out of the yoga pose.
If you suffer from headache or a serious eye disease such as glaucoma, you should avoid this pose. High blood pressure patients and people with cardiac problems should also not practice the head stand. If you had neck injuries or hernia or if you currently suffer from back pain, you should always consult your doctor before performing this yoga pose.
Women should avoid Shirshasana during menstruation time and pregnancy.