Headstand – Sirshasana

This Asana brings many health benefits.

Firstly, being in a fully inverted position allows more blood to rush to the head, nourishing the brain, pituitary glands and pineal glands.

Secondly, more blood flows to the heart because majority of the body is below the heart.

This allows the heart to pump more blood without increasing the heart rate and thus strengthening the heart. Unlike the hand stand, the head stand when done correctly is a comfortable position that does not increase the heart rate.

Contraindications

Do not do Headstand when you are on menstrual cycle

Headstand is good for people with high blood pressure as it can reduce their blood pressure in the long run. However, people with this medical condition must practice it under the supervision of a yoga instructor. The yoga instructor must monitor the blood pressure of the student before doing the headstand and must look out for signs of discomforts from the student.

The following describes the steps to do a headstand:

  1. Knee down on the mat.
  2. Intertwine fingers from both hands except the thumb and create a ‘cup’.
  3. Place both elbows and ‘cup’ on the mat
  4. Place head in the ‘cup’
  5. Press both elbows hard on the mat
  6. Raise knees off the mat and plant heels firmly on the mat
  7. Fully extend knees and raise buttocks in the air
  8. Walk the feet closer towards the hands until the feet cannot move any further
  9. Anchor elbows firmly into the mat and tug knees to the body
  10. Slowly straighten both knees towards the ceiling

For people who are unable to do headstand due to weak back muscles, doing push-ups will help.

For people who have weak arms and shoulder, they can try to stay in step 9 and hold it there for 1 minute.