What is the meaning of headstand yoga pose?
Headstand yoga pose or Sirsasana sometime also known as yoga headstand pose, is the only pose that stimulates all the organs of the body. This upside down yoga is known for numerous health benefits. That’s why, the great yoga teacher BKS Iyengar named headstand pose as “King of all asanas”. In the modern lifestyle, maximum people hardly do any physical exercise and sit in one position for protracted lengths of time. Vigorous and regular exercise speeds up the blood circulation and ensures that the brain receives sufficient well oxygenated blood. The lack of exercise, which is the characteristic of modern city dwelling man, leads obesity, diabetes, hair problems, skin issues, general inefficiency of the organs of the body. But, Yoga headstand is in a sense an unnatural method of combating an unnatural lifestyle. Apart from this, Sirsasana is an excellent yoga pose to enhance skin glow, strengthen the hair follicles, panacea for brain health and good for weight loss besides other important benefits.
How to do a Yoga headstand pose step by step?
Simple and easy headstand steps are being described here. If you wanted to learn upside down yoga pose, and those who are beginners, should follow the steps minutely.
- First of all, make a cup by interlock your fingers.
- The top of the head should be placed in the cup by kneeling down or doing a pose just like Parvatasana.
- Try to bring your toes towards your head by raising your knees above the ground.
- Now, slowly, slowly raise your legs upward. One can take help of a wall or person for raising the legs upward.
- If you are able to raise your legs straight up; now focus entirely on your balance.
- After making your body upside down straight, try to relax the whole body, especially the muscles and do breathing slowly and deeply.
- Now, slowly fold your legs and bring it down to the floor.
- As far as maintaining the pose is concerned, one should hold it as per one’s capacity or maximum up to 5 minutes. But the beginner initially should hold only for few seconds.
Yoga headstand poses health benefits
- Hair loss is a quite common phenomenon these days. Cosmetic industry is garnering huge profit in the name of hair loss medicines and products. But, such medicines also come with many side effects. The basic reason of greying of hair and hair loss because of the lesser circulation of oxygenated blood in the scalp and hair follicle region. The practice of tripod headstand yoga can play an important role as it bathes the scalp cells and tissues with oxygenated blood and also nourishes it.
- The conditions of pimples, wrinkles, acne, blemishes can be prevented and treated to a larger extent by the regular practice of tripod yoga. Due to the practice of Sirsasana, fresh blood loaded with nutrients move to the facial region and rejuvenates the cells of this area thereby ensure fair complexion of the skin. The tripod yoga pose is also beneficial to remove the waste toxins from these regions of the body.
- The tripod stand yoga pose largely controlled the pituitary as well as thyroid glands. Since, the thyroid gland releases thyroxin, which is responsible for metabolic process of the body, thus helpful in regulating the weight.
- Tripod headstand is the best yoga pose for the overall health of the brain. The practice of the inversion yoga helps to make available pure and fresh blood to the brain cells. The entire brain and all the billions of cells here receive more nourishment due to the practice of this yoga pose. All the cells are getting fresh and rejuvenated blood and ensure higher productivity in their work mechanism.
- Headache and migraine are believed to be partly caused by compression of certain blood vessels in the brain. Forearm headstand helps to relax and strengthen these vessels and thereby prevent the occurrence of these ailments.
- The increased blood flow to the brain revitalizes all the nervous centres and the controller of the endocrinal system, the pituitary. In this way, tripod headstand yoga helps to rectify various types of glandular and nervous disorders. The yoga head stand acts like a panacea for the prevention and management of diabetes. Salamba Sirshasana, however, acts directly on the pituitary gland by improving the blood supply and this has been found to be a great help in combating diabetes.
- Headstand pose has also been found to be a great help in combating sexual disorders such as prostate problems, hydrocele, leucorrhea, spermatorrhea and all general menopausal and menstrual ailments.
- Various types of ailments such as myopia, astigmatism, catarrh and general bad hearing have been found to improve by regular practise of Yoga head stand.
- Two very common ailments are varicose veins and piles (haemorrhoids) caused by accumulation of blood in the legs and anus respectively. In the stagnated life, it is generally seen that blood got accumulated in the legs, in the pelvic and abdominal organs. This drainage removes impure stagnant blood so that it can be replaced with pure, oxygenated blood after performing the headstand.
Scientific explanation of upside down yoga
Many studies have been conducted across the world to measure the changes that occur within the body while practicing tripod yoga pose. X-rays taken during the headstand practice, have shown a considerable shift of the diaphragm, changes in the longitudinal and transverse dimensions of the heart, and widening of the arteries and veins leading to and from the lungs, especially in the upper lobes that leads to more oxygenation of lungs.
Practicing the head stand pose ensures oxygen consumption by the tissues increased and the amount of oxygen exhaled reduced, indicating that the transfer of oxygen to the blood is greatly increased. It also helps to an increase in the white blood cell count, implying that the body’s ability to withstand and resist infection is increased.
Yoga Inversion for beginners
- For the beginners, the headstand is not so easy as it seems.
- Initially, they should do yoga inversion chair or the headstand chair.
- To learn to do a headstand, the beginners should use supported headstand, yoga headstand chair or wall headstand or better to do with Ardha Sirsasana.
- Doing headstand with blocks or hollow back headstand is also good for the beginners.
- There shouldn’t be movement in head or arms while performing the pose to skip imbalance.
- Try to keep the whole body vertical in the final pose; don’t incline it backwards, forwards or sideways.
- While attaining the final position, focus should be on relaxation.
- In the final stage, toes shouldn’t be pointed outward, keep it relaxes for better drainage of blood from the legs.
- Weight of the body should be on the head rather than on the arms.
Supported headstand breathing and duration
- In the initial stage, do breathe in.
- Hold the breath inside while raising the body to the final pose.
- Breathe slowly and deeply in the final position.
- Breathe in deeply and then hold the breath as you lower the body to the starting position.
- The person who is practicing Sirsasana for a longer period of time, can can practise for up to thirty minutes.
- But, it shouldn’t be done by the beginner’s as it could cause more harm than good.
- Beginners should start with no more than thirty seconds and the duration can be gradually increased with practice.
- If you feel the slightest fatigue, trembling, head strain or general anxiety then stop doing the asana.
- Kneeling position for about thirty seconds with the head on the ground.
Sirsasana headstand sequence
- If somebody practise only asanas without pranayama and meditation , then practise sirshasana at the beginning of the program.
- If your practice program includes pranavama and/or meditative practices then you should do sirshasana immediately after the other asanas.
- Beginners should generally do the practice after other asanas.
Tripod headstand yoga contraindications
In the following conditions, headstand yoga shouldn’t be performed.
- High blood pressure
- Weak heart
- Coronary thrombosis
- Weak eye blood vessels
- Conjunctivitis and chronic glaucoma
- Any form of haemorrhage in the head
- Otia (inflammation of the ears)
- Chronic catarrh
- Slipped disc
- Extremely impure blood, since the impurities could be directed into the brain
- Kidney problems
- During pregnancy or menstruation.
Beginner yoga headstand pose advice
- Sirsasana pose shouldn’t be practiced If your bowels are full.
- If you are physically tired, skip practicing the pose.
- In case of headache or migraine, one shouldn’t practice it because these conditions may aggravate.
- It should be practiced after passing of 30 minutes of intense physical exercise.
- In case of headache, suffocation, feel dizziness, perspire profusely, palpitations of the heart, it shouldn’t be practiced.
- There is no as such age bar in performing the yoga pose, however, the elderly people should be careful of practicing it.
Types of headstand yoga poses
- Headstand Yoga pose
- Bound hands headstand
- Bound angle pose in headstand
- Headstand backbend
- Single leg headstand
- Free hands headstand
- Single leg revolved headstand
- Side headstand
- Single leg headstand
- Seated angle pose in headstand
- Upward lotus in headstand