Asana: Headstand (Sirsasana)

Sirsa = head
The headstand was one of the more earlier poses I worked on when I first started practicing yoga. There’s something fun about inversions in general, but to fully conquer and to work on my headstand is one of my biggest goals.
There are many physical and mental benefits to this pose, known as the king of asanas. It has anti aging elements, reduces stress, increases focus, and strengthens your arms, core, and shoulders.
Even though it may seem unnatural at first, when you are upside down in a inversion the blood that is now being redirected from your toes to your head really refreshes your body. Some people even say that frequent headstands can bring color back into grey hair.
There are also many different variations to the headstand, with supported headstand (salamba sirsaasana) being one that beginners usually practice. Dolphin plank is a good way to slowly get yourself used to having the weight on your forearms rather then on your head. This is hugely important as when you are up in headstand, the crown of your head should not feel the pressure of your body as it causes strain on your neck and can cause injuries. So while people may think that arm strength is the key to headstands, I would say that core has a lot to do with it as well. If you can strengthen your core and engage it while you come up, your body will be tight and balanced. If your core is loose, then your body becomes loose, and balance is difficult to maintain.
Of course there are cautions, that being if you have high blood pressure, low blood pressure, back injuries, you’re currently menstruating and pregnant the pose is best to be avoided.
After you come out of the pose its always important to lie in childs pose to let the blood flow return to normal.
Lan Otani 200HR YTT

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