Shirshasana (Headstand Pose) steps, precautions and benefits


In ancient yogic texts, Shirshasana is described as the king of all yoga poses due to its amazing physical, psychological and mental health effects on the body. Shirshasana influences each and every single part of your body and makes you strong enough to dive deep into the ocean of advanced yoga poses.

The name Shirshasana is derived from two Sanskrit words:

Shirsha = Head

Asana = Posture

The weight of the whole body is balanced on the head, hence the name Headstand Pose.

Shirshasana (Headstand Pose) steps, precautions and benefits

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Shirshasana (Headstand Pose) Steps

The technique of coming into Headstand Pose (which we have described in this article) is good enough to be practiced by intermediate yoga practitioners. There is also an advanced method to which you can move after getting well in this one.

Starting Position: Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

  1. Shirshasana (Headstand Pose) steps, precautions and benefitsInterlock your fingers and move your body forward placing the forearms on the floor. Spread the elbows slightly more than shoulder-width apart, forming an equilateral triangle.
  2. Place the crown of your head in the space between your palms. Gently press your hands against your head to get a firm grip.
  3. Raise your buttocks off the floor making the knees and legs straight.
  4. Walk a few steps towards your head, as much as you possibly can (without straining).
  5. Slightly bend the knees, tuck your thighs in your abdomen and chest. Slowly shift the weight of your body from toes to head and arms. Balance the body.
  6. Carefully lift one foot off the ground, maintaining the balance and then the other foot.
  7. Slowly, bend your knees bringing the heels near your buttocks.
  8. Slowly raise the legs either one by one or together, in the vertical position. The body must be straight. This is the final position.
  9. Hold the pose for as long as it feels comfortable, breathing normally.Shirshasana (Headstand Pose) steps, precautions and benefits

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Practice Shirshasana once for the duration of 3-5 minutes, though 10-30 seconds are enough if you are a beginner.

Release the pose

To come out of the pose, slowly bend your knees. Lower your legs carefully to the ground while maintaining the balance. Stay in kneeling position for a while and then lift the head to return back to the starting position. Relax the body.

Practice Tips

  1. Shirshasana (Headstand Pose) steps, precautions and benefitsFollow Shirshasana by Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
  2. You may place a folded blanket under the forearms if you experience a lot of discomfort in the head.
  3. You can also try to practice against a wall (if you struggle a lot while balancing) as that will support your body weight and reduce the stress on neck muscles.
  4. Ideally, the weight of the body is held by the head only and arms only provide support. Beginners must avoid doing so till the neck becomes strong enough to bear the weight.
  5. If you are new to Shirshasana, practice it at the end of your yoga practice. An experienced practitioner can practice it either in the end or in the beginning. 
  6. It may take you a lot of time to be able to maintain the balance in this pose. Don’t become impatient if you keep falling out of the pose for many days, weeks or months. It takes time to achieve the perfect balance for a longer duration of time. Stick to the practice. Once you master this pose, you will be ready to practice it in a more advanced technique.
Precautions for Shirshasana (Headstand Pose)

Avoid practicing Headstand Pose if you suffer from any of this condition:

  • Frequent headaches, high blood pressure, neck problem, heart problems, constipation, weak eye blood vessels, kidney problems and other conditions such as: 
  • arteriosclerosis (thickening and hardening of the walls of arteries)
  • thrombosis (formation of the blood clot inside a blood vessel)
  • catarrh (excessive discharge or build-up of mucus in the nose or throat)
  • conjunctivitis (inflammation of the outermost layer of the white part of the eye)
  • migraine (a recurrent and long-term throbbing headache)
  • glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eyeball leading to gradual loss of sight)
Shirshasana (Headstand Pose) Benefits
  1. Increases the blood circulation in the brain and upper part of the body.
  2. Regulates irregular menstruation and keep reproductive organs healthy.
  3. Reduces mental and emotional stress and anxiety.
  4. Tones abdominal muscles and reproductive organs.
  5. Improves the functioning of the brain and relax the mind.
  6. Increases memory power and improves concentration.
  7. Improves blood circulation to the head, which reduces hair fall.
  8. Regulates the functioning of all the systems of the body.
  9. Reverse blood circulation keeps the eyesight healthy as well as ears and tonsils.
  10. The reverse flow of blood leads to tissue regeneration in the lower part of the body.
  11. Moves stagnant blood from the lower part of the body such as the abdomen, legs and reproductive organs.

Planning to add Shirshasana in your everyday yoga practice? Let us know if you are, using the comment section below.

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Stay healthy stay strong and get the best out of life.

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