In my article on Tadasana, I’ve explained few common instructions applicable to all the asanas.
Now, welcome the King! This is the doyen among the asanas. This is also known as the topsy-turvy pose. When you attempt the asana for the first time, remember the poem, “The London bridge is falling down…falling down….” In the initial stages, it is better to take the support of the wall to practice this asana. This asana has the powerful impact on the entire body. Just as you take recourse to the study-buddy approach to learn a language, have your friend beside you to help, watch and encourage you to do the headstand. Besides the mat, use some padding for this asana. Do not use soft pillow, you may lose your balance with the unsteady stuff; a folded blanket is preferable. Keep adequate material for protection, in case you fall backwards.
Method / Technique for Sirsasana
- Kneel down. Place the forearms with interlocked fingers on the padding. Balance elbows suitably by adjusting the space between them as per your requirements.
- Place the back of your head in to the cupped hollow of the palms. Do not lodge the head flat on the fingers of palms. Make an effort to raise the legs.
- Inhale and continue to raise the legs till the body is vertical like a straight line. At this point the back remains unbending and you are making efforts to feel relaxed. As you breathe, the deep breath should come from the abdomen, just like a classical singer’s voice originates from the abdomen.
- Your concentration is on the brain and the pineal glands between the eyebrows. You are aware of the spiritual importance of pineal glands whose secretion is responsible for opening of the Third Eye.
- To revert to the starting point, bend the knees, lower one leg first and then the second one. On the first day you attempt this asana for not more than 15 seconds and increase it by another 15 seconds every week, till you reach the optimum level of 3 minutes.
Physical/therapeutic benefits of Shirsaasana
- The increased circulation of blood to the brain augments its functional efficiency as for intelligence and memory.
- It is panacea for most of the diseases and maladjustments of various parts of body. With the strengthening of the ‘command area’, the ‘operational efficiency’ at all levels is increased. It greatly impacts for the better, sleeplessness, fear, poor memory, asthma, constipation, throat infection, female problems, nose troubles, sinus etc. It improves eyesight.
- The impact on the glands is the greatest virtue of this asana. Four important glands, the parathyroid, pineal, pituitary and the thyroid, make the human body functional and sustain life. Pineal gland is closely associated with the spiritual progression of an individual. When these glands function efficiently the body will evolve pink.
- The benefits of reversal of gravity accrue like restoration of position of vital organs.
- Spine remains correctly aligned.
- With the increased supply of blood to the scalp, hair growth is accelerated.
- Improvement in the quality of sleep; one gets deep, peaceful sleep.
- This is the favored asana of the yogis, on account of its above-mentioned virtues.
Precautions for Shirsasana
- Beginning with 15 seconds, the maximum period for which one can do this asana is 12 minutes, combined with other exercises.
- Patients with high or low blood pressure should do this asana only after getting the blood pressure normal through other measures like proper nutrition. Give up salt and take one or two garlic buds daily. This will normalize the blood pressure.
- If one has the history of strokes, avoid Shirsana. Those with neck injury, advanced stage of arthritis should not practice this.
- If one does regular practice, this asana can be performed till the age of 65.
- If palpitation occurs during the practice, discontinue and give up.