Salamba Sirsasana strengthens the whole body and calms the brain
Our yoga practice includes inversions, which are of utmost importance.Headstand has a remarkable overall effect on the entire body.Gravity’s effect is reversed by inverting our legs over our heads, which causes our body’s fluids to flow from our feet back up to our heads.
The body’s circulatory, lymphatic, neurological, and endocrine systems are enhanced and favourably impacted by headstands. In addition to enhancing our health, turning upside down also boosts mood by reducing tension and anxiety while boosting self-esteem.
The advanced level inverted yoga pose known as headstand pose (Sirs asana) or salamba sirsasana requires the strength of the core, head, neck, and elbows. After becoming a master of the Headstand Pose, you can practice many difficult variations of the pose. This pose is primarily used in Hatha yoga sequences and involves awareness of the breath, body, and mind. The pose has been dubbed the “King of all asanas” for its numerous advantages.
Beginners can practice Half Headstand Pose on Forearms and/or One Legged Headstand Pose before Headstand Pose to develop the necessary strength. Yoga instructors can initially allow students to practice poses using a nearby wall as support. Later, when students are more comfortable, they can perform Salamba Sirsasana without the wall’s assistance.
Steps for Sirsasana
- Put your forearms on the ground, interlace your fingers, and lean forward. To create an equilateral triangle, spread the elbows out slightly farther than shoulder-width apart.
- Place your head’s crown in the space created by your palms. To establish a firm hold, gently press your hands against your head.
- Straighten your legs by lifting your buttocks off the ground.
- Take as many steps as possible in that direction, towards your head (without straining).
- With your knees slightly bent, tuck your thighs into your chest and abdomen. Slowly shift your body’s weight from your toes to your head and arms.
- Carefully raise the first foot off the ground while maintaining your balance, then raise the second foot.
- Slowly flex your knees, so the heels are close to your buttocks.
- Raise the legs vertically, either all at once or one at a time. A straight body is required.
- Maintain the position for however long it feels comfortable while breathing normally.
Sirsasana (Headstand Pose) Advantages:
- Stretches, Strengthens, and Lengthens: The headstand pose lengthens the spine while stretching the legs, upper body, back, and core. Due to the friction they endure while supporting the body weight; the elbows grow stronger. As the entire pressure is applied to it, the skull becomes sturdy.
This pose strengthens the biceps and triceps while applying pressure to the arms, shoulders, and back when held for a while. The abdominal muscles become stronger under pressure.The brain’s blood vessels can be strengthened due to the blood rushing there, which may help prevent migraines and other related headaches.
- Flexibility and Range of Motion: A key element of this pose is improved leg flexibility. Particularly, the hamstring muscles loosen up, which indirectly aids in preventing sciatica.
- Chest, Diaphragm, and Breath: Headstand Pose opens the back by lifting the chest and rib cage. The pressure on the chest area and the opening increases the lungs’ capacity, strengthening the muscles around them. As a result, the respiratory system’s performance is also improved.
- Awareness and Focus: This pose requires the practitioner to draw inward and become aware of the inversion. Given the pose’s difficulty, it can be not easy to focus at first. Still, with regular practice, awareness can be attained, and the increased flow of oxygenated blood to the brain improves mental function. A sense of spirituality and self-esteem may be attained by paying attention to your deep breathing because it may act as an inverted pranayama yoga pose.
- Alignment and Posture: By engaging the core and bolstering the back, arms, and shoulders, the headstand pose improves body alignment and posture. Legs raised in the air lengthen the spine, allowing the back to be held in a straight line and adjust the alignment.
- Energizing, de-stressing, and relaxing: As oxygenated blood flows to the brain, the mental state becomes calm and cool. With the adrenal glands functioning at their best, stress can be avoided because going inverted squeezes the adrenal glands, which produces stress hormones. Additionally, it aids in preventing anxiety by enhancing mental performance.
Due to the slow breathing and nature of the posture, it is a cooling pose.
- Stimulation, Organs, Systems, and Circulation: By flipping onto the head, the headstand pose stimulates the lymphatic system, which removes toxins from the blood.
Due to the reversing gravitational force during the pose that flushes out the bodily fluids built up in the legs, students who must stand for the majority of the day due to their line of work or even students who sit at a desk all day can benefit by avoiding leg edema.Utilizing gravity’s opposing forces to move stuck materials, release unwanted gases, and strengthen the abdominal organs, the headstand pose aids in improving digestion.The blood rushes down to the brain, making it cool and sharpening memory. Additionally, nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood reaches the eyes, ensuring they function at their peak and preventing macular degeneration and other eye-related problems.
- Others: The headstand pose is a fantastic way to get blood that is rich in nutrients to your head and scalp. Because of this, the quality and health of the hair are enhanced as the blood supplies the essential nutrients to the hair follicles.
The facial skin hangs in the opposite direction while holding the pose upside down, lifting the flow.Additionally, the face develops a healthy glow from the oxygen-rich blood flow.As a result, it eliminates anxiety, stress, and fear.
- Preparatory Pose: With regular practice, the headstand pose can warm up for more difficult and advanced poses like bound hands. Students learn to use their core, arms, and shoulders as well as their shoulders and arms in Headstand Pose B, also known as Headstand Pose Iii, Headstand Wide Legs.
Sirsasana (Headstand Pose) Contraindications:
- Injury and Surgery: Students who have suffered an injury to a joint, such as the elbow, rib cage, arms, or shoulders, and an injury to a muscle, such as the hamstrings or neck, should avoid the headstand pose. Students who have recently undergone or recovered from surgery related to the areas mentioned earlier should also avoid the pose.
- Physical Strength and Weakness: People with a frail upper body, vertigo, a severe headache, or migraine cannot perform the headstand pose. Children under the age of seven should strictly be forbidden from striking the pose because their skulls are still developing or haven’t hardened enough, making them more prone to injury. Pregnant women should avoid the pose because it can be dangerous if they fall or slip off while performing it.
Due to the intolerable pressure on their eyes, students with glaucoma cannot perform the pose. Women should avoid the pose during the first few days of their period to prevent cramps.Beginner-level students who lack balance and the confidence to perform a headstand can first try the one-legged headstand pose against a wall to boost their confidence.
- Lack of breath awareness: As you hold the Headstand Pose for a long time, your breath gets deeper and slower. As a result, anyone with asthma or no awareness of their breath should avoid the pose.
- How long should headstand practice last each day?
Be aware of your body. Beginning with a minute or less, gradually extend the period to two to three minutes.
- Is Sirsasana beneficial for Hair?
Sirsasana enhances blood flow to the head and scalp, slows down hair loss, prevents greying, and promotes hair growth.Additionally, it aids in enhancing skin complexion.
The “king of asanas” Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) can be practiced at any time, and it’s never too late to make a difference.Getting those feet above your head can help you get a little perspective and let you see your old routines and behaviours freshly.
Shree Hari Yoga, our instructors are glad to help you with a handstand. Keep in mind that just one simple step upside down may open up a new world of view.