Submitted by Thiruvelan on Tue, 06/25/2013
Sirsasana - Headstand

"Shirsha" means head and "Asana" means posture. Sirsasana common name in English is headstand. Sirsasana is the king of asana; it supplies nutrient-rich pure blood to the brain, which connects to our whole body and acts as a regulator. Thus, Sirsasana kindle and regulates entire body function by increasing blood supply to scalp and brain.

Headstand stimulates the nervous system, boost mental alertness and clarity. It is a centering, calming and soothing posture. People suffering from sleep problems, memory loss and low vitality can recover by the regular practice of this asana.

Sirsasana stimulates pineal and pituitary glands, and help normalizes its function; thus entire nervous system starts recovering.

How do you do Sirsasana?

  • Fold a blanket (for cushioning effect), spread it on the floor and kneels down near it.
  • Rest the forearms on the center of the blanket. The distance between the elbows placed on the floor should not be more than the shoulder width.
  • Interlock the finger firmly so as the palms form a cup, and rest the sides of the palms on the blanket.
  • Rest the crown (neither forehead nor the back) of the head on the blanket so as the back of the head touches the cupped palms and elbows. After securing the head in-position, raise the knees from the floor.
  • Exhales gently, kick toes against the floor; lift inch by inch (this avoids flushing of blood) the legs from the ground with bended knees. Lift both feet simultaneously, once you attain balance straighten your knees and keep the whole body perpendicular to the floor.
  • The whole body weight should be on the head alone not on the forearms or hands. They are only to support and prevent any loss of balance.
  • The back of the head, trunk, thigh back and heels should be in line perpendicular to the floor (not inclined to one side). The throat, chin and breastbone should be in one line; otherwise, the head will tilt to one side or move forward.
  • Stay in this final position with natural breathing without staining yourself for one to five minutes in the beginning and can expend up to 10 to 15 minutes. Exhale, flex the knees and slide down to the floor in the reverse order, until the toes touch the ground. Slowly raise your head from the blanket.

Sirsasana for beginners

A beginner must do this pose with the assistance of a friend or do the asana against a wall.

While practicing against a wall, the distance between it and the head should not be more than 2 or 3 inches. Otherwise, the spine will curve and stomach protrude thus strains your entire body. Remaining step are the same as the actual Sirsasana at the center of the floor. This wall-supported Sirsasana helps support the hips against the sides of the wall. Additionally, you can touch the heels to either side of the walls. The movements of coming down and going up should do with an exhalation.

Gradually leave the support of the wall and learn to master the balance.


The beginners should not practice without guidelines of a yoga master. At least, you should have your friend or family member with you helping at each stage of this yoga. This helps you from fall down and hurting yourself (even leads to spinal fracture), thus be extra careful.

Additionally, for ease, you can do this yoga in the corner of the wall (joint of the two sides of the wall) to prevent a fall down as well as help you from straining. One should master for a correct Sirsasana posture; a faulty posture will lead to pain in the head, neck and back. While holding the headstand the eyes should never become bloodshot. If it happens, this indicates the pose is faulty.

If you are high or low blood pressure, then it is not advisable to start with, Sirsasana or Sarvangasana instead start with Halasana.

Sirsasana should always follow by Sarvangasana. It has observed that those who do Sirsasana alone without doing Sarvangasana are apt to lose their temper and become irritated easily. The practice of Sarvangasana after Sirsasana helps check these effects.

Sirsasana is the father, and Sarvangasana is the mother of all asana'. Both parents are important for cardinal peace and harmony in a home, so it is advisable to practice both these asana to keep the body health and mind peaceful.

Benefits of head stand

  • Rejuvenates nervous system and brain, thus helps diabetics to stop nerve damage.
  • Improve lung’s capacity by loading blood with enough oxygen as well as heal cough, cold, sinusitis, and asthma.
  • Aids proper blood circulation and removes fluid buildup in the foot, thus limits foot conditions.
  • Kindle digestion and normalize metabolism, thus helps maintain the blood-glucose level. Psychological problems such as stress, depression and anxiety are more common among diabetes, which has relieved by handstand.
  • It normalizes the functions of kidney, liver, intestine, stomach and reproductive organ.
  • Finally, it provides a glow to your face and makes you more attractive.

Regular and precise practice of Sirsasana develops the body, disciplines the mind, and widens their spirit. Make you balanced and self-reliant in pain & pleasure, loss & gain, shame & fame, and defeat & victory.