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Yoga Exercise - Head Stand (Sirshasana)

During the practice of Yoga exercises, we not only relax the muscles but we also build up strength, structure and stability in the right spots. In Head Stand, you build up power and structure in both the neck and the upper back and at the same time, you train your arm muscles and coordination. Likewise, standing in good alignment with your body upside down also has a calming effect on your thinking.

STEP 1: Stand on your knees on your Yoga Mat. Twine your hands together and keep some distance between the hand palms as if you are holding a tennis ball in the basin of both hands.

STEP 2: The shoulders will form the basis of the Head Stand. Try to let your upper arms "interlock" with the shoulder blades so that they support the shoulders. Let your upper back sink down and stretch your neck out from the crown. Raise your knees.

STEP 3: Support yourself on your lower arms and walk inwards until you have your back straight.

STEP 4: Step in with one leg and bring your crown to the floor and jump up one leg at a time. Push your wrists against the floor. There is hardly any weight on your elbows and as much weight as possible on your crown.

STEP 5: Stand perpendicular on your head and try to place your hips, chest and your legs in such a way that your upper back does not form a bump and your neck does not get sunken. Also, see to it that you do not let the center of gravity fall in your lower back instead of your upper back with the result that you clench the muscles of your lower back.

STEP 6: Focus on a point in front of you. Breathe in and out quietly and try to get completely still and experience the exercise in a meditative way.

Without the correct way of jumping up, it is practically impossible to stand in the Headstand in the right way. Likewise, when you jump up correctly, you will get the most out of this exercise. The neck is sensitive and when you are aligned incorrectly in the Headstand, you can easily get injured. Build up this exercise quietly and, if possible, practice the exercise a few times under the supervision of an experienced Yoga teacher. A safe alternative for this pose is standing on your head on a special Yoga Head Stand stool.


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Article Comments
Sunday 18th November 2007 at 6:27:51 PM  

Dear folksFirst off, thank you for your brilliant animation for these yoga poses. I think it will be very helpful and I will email the link to your site to my son.I have over 19 years of yoga teaching experience and am especially good at showing the proper way to do Shirsasana (Headstand). You never "jump" the feet up. Its too dangerous anyway. One brings one leg up, only after the body is perpendicular to the floor. And then the other into half headstand (Ardha Shirsasana) and one should be able to hold this for at least 30 seconds before one ever straightens the leg, and then only one at a time. There is very little weight on the head or neck. Most of the weight is on the forearms, elbow and wrist, which is in an equilateral symetrical triangle. That foundation becomes as solid as a rock. Actually its like doing reverse Tadasana (Mountain pose) Although this style is excellent, as taught by Swami VishnuDevananda in the Sivananda style, I suggest using a wall (they don't) as a prop in case one topples over backwards, one's back has to be touching the wall when the knees are brought to the chest, then and only then straighten the legs one at a time. Descending come down gracefully, again never plop or jump the legs down. (If one has done enough leg raises and chaturangas one's upper body, triceps, trapezius around the neck will become strong) Now, as one gains confidence one can go into head stand with legs straight, and do a myriad of variations.Then when one is even more confident one can get into Scorpion(Vrichikasana) from headstand and even straightening the legs in Pincha Mayurasana (elbow balance with legs straight) On that too, there is no need to jump, just use headstand to work into those postures.

Tuesday 5th January 2010 at 10:52:59 PM  

i wish best of luck for all yoga lovers.

Monday 1st March 2010 at 8:57:37 PM  

Website is really cool with animations. Great..!

Sunday 15th August 2010 at 10:04:46 AM  

Love the site. Clear concise instructions, and the animations make the exercises incredibly easy to replicate, Keep up the great work!!

Wednesday 8th September 2010 at 2:44:17 AM  

It is very nice to learn yoga

Thursday 21st October 2010 at 6:06:50 AM  

good way of explanation. please mention the breathing part when going up and coming down.

Monday 8th November 2010 at 5:08:54 AM  

Step 4 the legs should be bend at knees and close to chest. This is Half stand. Hold here for some time. Then straighten away from the chest, but knees still folded. Then Straighten the legs. That,s the Procedure.

Thursday 2nd December 2010 at 3:08:03 AM  

I can''t do that , I always fall down to backside

ingiltere egitim
Sunday 5th December 2010 at 10:03:43 AM  

how long should i stay in this pose?

Sunday 27th February 2011 at 3:44:08 PM  

Thanks for clear instructions and visual animations.

Wednesday 9th March 2011 at 7:44:06 AM  

Thanks, very nice to learn yoga positions.

Monday 14th March 2011 at 7:15:59 AM  

NOOOOO!!! you never ever put weight on your head, you put weight on your sholders. Artashes2 explains the right way. Never you never jump up.

Thursday 14th April 2011 at 9:29:57 AM  

In this article it has been told that in headstand the weight should be on the crown. Its wrong. The 75% of the weight should be on shoulders. Of course 25% of the weight should be on head. This should be evenly balanced (between head and shoulders).

Saturday 24th December 2011 at 12:18:44 PM  

yoga is the best excercise in the world.specialy head stand poss is my favourity and more baneficial.

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