I’m going to write about SIRSASANA, the king of all postures because ever since I started practicing yoga, it has been my ultimate goal to be able to perform this beautiful inversion. So needless to say how happy I’ve felt when I actually could bring myself up into a headstand some two weeks ago during my 200YTT.
This challenging posture should preferably be learned under the supervision of an experienced teacher to avoid any injuries. Should you suffer from any spinal problems, in particular the neck you should refrain from conducting this posture.
Sirsasana is usually performed towards the end of a lesson but always ensure you still have enough strength left in order to perform the pose right without getting hurt.
Starting from dolphin position, place the top of your head on the floor between your interlocked fingers. The back of your head is touching the palms. Walk in your legs step by step until you’re close to your elbows. You will feel a slight upwards pressure. Your spine should be straight and your elbows still at all time to maintain good balance. Lock the fingers well as your head will have to rest and balance in them. Once your hips are directly over your shoulders, push your feet gently away from the ground and lifting the buttocks up to the ceiling while pushing down from the shoulders. With the help of your Mulu Bandha (pelvic floor) and your abdominal muscles lift your bended legs slowly into the air keeping your spine as straight as possible. Then straighten your legs by pulling up through the heels, constantly engaging your gluteus maximus as well as the abdominal muscles while pushing your shoulders down. Breath normally relax and enjoy the moment.
Come out of Sirsasana in the reversed way you came into it with slow and controlled movements. Once your feet are back on the ground, relax yourself in Balasana the Child’s pose to prevent you from any dizziness and to balance the blood flow in the body.
There are many benefits accompanied with regular practice of Sirvasana. A healthy blood flow through the brain cells will evolve in clear thinking. It also ensures the proper functioning of the pineal and the pituitary glands, which are vital for health, growth and vitality. Deep breathing is encouraged and as in all inversions the heart rate is lowered. The digestive organs are massaged and the back, shoulder, spine, arms and neck are strengthened.
Throughout this active posture different muscles are involved such as the triceps, which is a prime muscle (agonist) to help stabilizing the forearms on the floor. At the same time the biceps being a so called helper muscle (antagonist) acts as a counterpart. The shoulder is being drawn over the head by the anterior deltoids and the lower trapezius is drawing the shoulders away from the neck.
The erector spinae, which are found along the spine lift the back up and actively steady it. To prevent the rip cage from arching the rectus abdominis muscle is enabled while the lower back is supported by the quadratus lumborum.
The gluteus maximus, which is the biggest muscle found in the muscular system, is extending the hips while its counter muscle the iliopsoas balances the pelvis preventing it from tilting forward or backward. In order to turn the hips inward as well as keeping the legs strong the tensor fasciae latae works together with the gluteus medius, which is located deep in the buttocks. The adductors longus are pulling the thighs together and the quadriceps help straightening the knees in order to fully evolve into Sirvasana. The ankles bend with the help of the tibialis anterior muscles, which are found in front of the shin. And finally the peronei muscles running along the outer side of the lower leg are bringing the feet slightly outward.
Sirsasana is very energetic on the sahasrara chakra, the thousand-petalled whell, which is located at the crown of the head.