In Sanskrit “Sir” means “Head”, “Asana” means “Posture”. The English name of this asana is “Head stand”.
Position : Supine
Type : Balancing
Spiritual Awareness : Sahasrar chakra
Physical Awareness : On maintaining balance of the body
Dosha Suitability : Kapha
Introducery Asanas : Sarvangasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Uttanasana, Virasana
1. Stage I: Sit in vajrasana.
Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
After a few minutes, open the eyes, bend forward and place the forearms on a folded blanket with the fingers interlocked and the elbows in front of the knees. The distance between the elbows should be in such a way that they form an equilateral triangle between the interlocked fingers and the elbows. Place the crown of the head on the blanket between the interlocked fingers. Wrap the hands around the head to make a firm support so that it cannot roll backward when pressure is applied. Inhale.
2. Stage 2: Lift the knees and buttocks off the floor and straighten the legs.
3. Stage 3: Slowly walk the feet as close as possible towards the trunk and head, gradually moving the back towards the vertical position. Bend the knees slightly, press the thighs against the abdomen and lower chest. Transfer the body weight slowly from the toes onto the head and arms, maintaining a steady balance. Raise one foot off the floor about 20 cm, carefully balance, then raise the other foot and balance on the head and arms.
4. Stage 4: Bending the knees, gradually raise the calves in a controlled movement. Adjust the trunk slightly to counterbalance the weight of the legs. Fold the legs back so the heels move towards the buttocks. To accomplish this movement contract the muscles of the lower back. The knees are now pointing down with the legs together. Maintain the position for a few seconds, being aware of complete balance before proceeding.
5. Stage 5: Retain the breath. Raise the knees to the vertical position. Keeping the heels near the buttocks, slowly straighten the hips so that the thighs move up and away from the torso. Raise the knees until they point directly upward and the thighs are in line with the trunk. Balance the body.
6. Stage 6: Slowly straighten the knees and raise the calves. The whole body should be in one straight line with the feet relaxed. This is the final position. Breathe normally. The breath should become increasingly subtle in this posture as one becomes accustomed to it. Close the eyes and balance the whole body, relaxing in the final position for as long as is comfortable.
7. Stage 7: Return to the starting position. Slowly bend the knees and the lower the body with control in the reserve order until the toes touch the floor. Remain with the head on the ground in the kneeling position for a short time, then slowly return to the upright position.
Sequence: While beginners should practice sirshasana at the end of their asana programme, more experienced practitioners may perform it either at the beginning or the end.
Followup Asana: Tadasana and then Balasana or Shavasana
Spotlight effects: Whole body balance.
1. This asana is very powerful for awakening Sahasara chakra and therefore it is considered the greatest of all asanas.
2. Sirshasana increases the blood flow to the brain and pituitary gland, revitalizing the entire body and mind.
3. This asana reverses the effect of gravity on the spine.
1. It relives anxiety and other psychological disturbances which form the root cause of many disorders. It is therefore, recommended for the prevention of asthma, hay fever, diabetes menopausal imbalance.
2. It also helps to rectify many forms of nervous and glandular disorder, especially those related to the reproductive system.
3. Strain on the back is thus alleviated and the reserved flow of blood in the legs and visceral regions aids tissue regeneration.
4. The weight of the abdominal organs on the diaphragm encourages deep exhalation so that larger amounts of carbon dioxide, toxins and bacteria are removed from the lungs.
Precautions and Contraindications:
1. Sirshasana should not be practiced by people with high blood pressure, heart disease, thrombosis, arteriosclerosis, chronic constipation, kidney problems, impure blood, severe near-sightedness, weak eye blood vessels, conjunctivitis, chronic glaucoma, inflammation of the ears or any form of blood haemorrhage in the hand; neither should it be practiced during pregnancy.
2. Or menstruation.
3. Although it is recommended as a preventative measure for headache or migraine, it should
4. Not be practiced during either.