Sirsasana (Headstand) – Why and How to Do It?
Among the oldest yogic exercises that exist out there, some of the poses have always seemed intriguing and almost impossible to do. The elbow headstand has been one of those. In recent times, a lot of people have expressed their interest in learning the right way to do it and wonder if there truly are any health benefits to be taken from it. Let’s understand why it is so beneficial for us and the right way to get started with a sirsasana.
What Are the Benefits of Sirsasana?
By undertaking sirsasana on a regular basis, you can reap multiple benefits over a period of time that help you maintain your health in the best state possible.
1. Helps with Varicose Veins and Piles
One of the popular advantages of headstand asana is the alleviation of piles and varicose veins conditions in people. These occur when there is a substantial collection of blood in the legs as well as the anal area. The upside-down posture helps shift the blood flow and reduce the seriousness of the condition.
2. Optimizes Various Sensory Perceptions
The rush of blood flow to the brain that is brought about by the sirsasana posture allows various sensory parts of the brain to revitalise themselves. Many people note an improvement in their eyesight and hearing abilities after undertaking the asana regularly.
3. Cutting Down Hair Loss
The usage of sirsasana for hair growth and prevention of hair fall has made a lot of people interested in the exercise. With increased blood flow to the head and its surrounding areas, the scalp is rejuvenated with fresh blood, making the roots stronger and the hair healthier.
4. Helps Enhance the Natural Detox Process
The body system responsible for keeping us free of toxins and expelling them from our body is termed as the lymphatic system. With the modern lifestyle, this system needs all the boost it can get, which is given excellently in the headstand posture of sirsasana.
5. Helpful for People With Diabetes
The improper proportion of the insulin hormone is one of the major reasons for the onset of diabetes, which can be linked to the erratic functioning of the pituitary gland. Since this gland effectively controls the pancreas, the sirsasana posture helps accentuate the blood flow to it, making it regulate the functioning in a proper manner.
6. Improvement in the Digestive System
One of the popular uses of sirsasana has been to reset and bring back the potency of the digestive system. A simple change of posture allows for gravity to do most of the work in clearing up the stomach, releasing gases, and activate the system effectively.
7. Strengthens the Upper Torso
A headstand is not easy to do as well as hold. But doing so regularly helps build up the strength in your upper back, shoulders, arms and even your neck. This makes your upper body extremely stable and helps build up endurance and support the spine properly.
8. Treats Migraine Attacks and Headaches
A common reason for headaches and repetitive occurrences of them is an improper supply of blood and the necessary nutrients to the brain. Since it is also a muscle in its own right, sirsasana helps it relax with an increase in blood flow.
9. Ability to Focus Better and Longer
Apart from the various health benefits of headstand asana, the increased amount of blood flow towards the brain helps in developing a sharper and focused mind. It improves the function of the brain itself and builds up the stamina to focus for a longer duration.
10. Help Settle in a Calm Composed Mindset
Our lives today are extremely hectic, and a lot of people do tend to suffer from mild to severe versions of anxiety, stress as well as depression. Sirsasana turns the tables around and gives the brain and its glands a sumptuous proportion of blood flow along with the necessary nutrients, which support its healthy functioning and consequently work towards calming it down as well.
How to Do a Headstand?
Understanding the correct sequence of yoga headstand is extremely important when attempting to start with sirsasana the very first time. Make sure the area you are doing this in is safe and free from any kind of objects or surfaces that might end up hurting you. Follow the steps in the right order:
- Begin by kneeling down on the floor. Bend forward and rest your forearms on the surface before you. Make sure your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Clasp your fingers together and stabilise the position.
- Now gently place your head against your locked fingers, making sure your crown touches them. Make sure it is properly set. Take a deep breath and use your core to lift up your knees.
- With your toes supporting you and forming a V-like upside-down shape, use them to bring your knees close to your elbow as much as possible. Stabilise that position as well.
- Slowly and gradually, start lifting your feet upwards and push your knees towards your chest as close as you can. As you are doing this, begin straightening your legs as well, making sure they are exactly perpendicular to the surface below.
- Stabilise this final forearm headstand asana position and balance your weight equally on both of them. Stay in the headstand for about half a minute before reversing the sequence to come back down.
Warnings and Considerations
While undertaking these headstand exercises, it is extremely important to follow the steps to the letter and consider all safety concerns to reap the benefits of it. Along with those, there are a few warnings one must heed and some health considerations that ought to be observed before starting with the asana or continuing with it.
- During menstrual cycles, it is recommended that women should abstain from any kind of headstand related exercises.
- In case you suffer from a blood pressure related health condition, have injuries or problems in your neck or head, suffer from constipation, or even have a cold, it is best to stay away from carrying out sirsasana until the condition has passed.
- Pregnant women should undertake headstand exercises only if they have been doing it prior to pregnancy and are confident in it. Posture stability is extremely important for the baby’s safety.
1. Are There Any Alterations or Modifications of Sirasana?
Apart from the standard Indian headstand position, there are a few variations in the way the legs are raised above. One includes lifting both legs simultaneously, the other follows the straightening of one leg at a time, and so on.
2. How Can Beginners Start With Headstand Pose?
Adhering to the headstand yoga sequence is paramount to achieving excellence in sirsasana. For most beginners, it is important to develop core strength to support their body weight. With right head placement and using a wall for support, the initial stages of sirsasana can be achieved, too.
3. Can I Do Sirsasana in the Evening?
When people ask if headstands are bad for you, they want to know the right time and frequency to carry out the exercise. For most purposes, twice a day in the morning and evening is usually good for your health.
Starting off sirsasana as a beginner might seem very difficult at the beginning. But with some yoga headstand tips and mental preparation, you would very soon be able to gain for the health benefits of the exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle.