The Headstand

Shirshasana.

The Headstand (shirshasana) is said to be the most important asana of all. It has earned the nickname: king of asanas. Its benefits are numerous. Is one of the many inverted poses in yoga. Yoga developed as a discipline or way of life in ancient India, but has over the years become a popular exercise alternative. The most commonly practiced kind of yoga is the Hatha Yoga.

Physical Benefits

  • Brings fresh blood to the brain
  • Rests the heart by using gravity to stimulate veinous return
  • Relieves pressure from the veins in the lower body (varicose veins)
  • Encourages deeper breathing, therefore strengthens the lungs and increases one’s vitality
  • Relieves pressure in the lower back
  • Improves physical balance

Energetic (Pranic) Benefits

  • Sublimates gross, sexual energy into subtle, spiritual energy called ojas

Mental Benefits

  • Helps overcome fear
  • Better concentration
  • More acute memory
  • Higher intellectual capacities
  • Sharpens the senses
  • Improves mental balance

Spiritual Benefits

  • More ojas means better meditations
  • Helps assimilate the vedantic teachings by looking at life from a different angle

 5 steps to headstand

 

Technique

1. Kneel down and grab your elbows with your hands. Keep the elbows where they are and interlock the fingers in front of you. Elbows and hands now form an equilateral triangle.

2. Place the very top of your head on the floor with the back of your head resting against the fingers. Straighten the knees, raise your hips, your body now resembling an inverted V. The weight should be about equally distributed between your head/arms and the feet.

3. Bringing your feet as close as possible to your head. This will shift the weight from the feet onto the head/arms. Keep your back as straight as possible to prevent your neck from arching.Bend the knees keeping them close to the chest. Shift the hips to keep your balance. Getting to this one can take beginners weeks or months. Patience is essential all the way along. (And be sure you can safely roll to your back if you lose control.)

4 Now and only now straighten your legs one by one (or both together). Keep your feet relaxed. Make sure that the head is supporting no more than 10% of your body weight, the rest being applied on the elbows. At first hold it for few seconds.

5 Maintain the balance while slowly straightening the legs.Stabilizing the posture by inducing firm core strength. Keep the body vertical by engaging the core and abdominal muscles, the buttocks and thighs.In the beginning point the toes to straighten the entire body.Distribute the weight equally on the head,hands and forearms and elbows.

Releasing: With control,slowly bend both legs,lowering them down carefully.Keep the balance by simultaneously moving the hips in the opposite direction (toward the back). Fold legs and  keep them close to torso, than to come down with straight legs.Another alternative is to bend and lower only one leg,while initially keeping the second leg up.in any case do not land on the knees upon coming down.

After the performing shirshasana, take a rest at least 90 seconds on shashankasana (moon pose) or child pose keeping the head on the ground, allow the fluids of the body to equalize.

Good luck. And please be free to share your experience with me.

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