Shirshasana is a powerful Asana and is considered as the King of Asanas due to its effect on the entire body. The Sanskrit word Shirsha actually means head. Hence this posture is better known as The headstand posture. Though beginners may find this posture difficult, they can initially take the help of a friend while practicing. During practice, the head can be given an extra padding like for instance a folded blanket. A pillow is not advisable as it would be too soft.
- Fold both the legs at the knees and be seated on the heels of the feet. The body, neck, spine and head should be kept erect. Palms can be placed on the knees. Breathe normally.
- Interlock the fingers of hands and place them on the soft padding by leaning forward.
- Keeping elbows shoulder widths apart, gently place the back of the head on the inner side of the interlocked fingers. Now slowly lift knees from the floor and take one or two steps towards the head.
- Inhale and simultaneously lift the legs gently so that they are in a vertical position. Keeping the back straight, relax and breathe deeply from the abdomen.
- Hold on in the same position for fifteen seconds. The time duration can be increased gradually up to three minutes with practice. While returning to the initial normal position, first bend the knees and place one leg on the floor first and then bring the other down.
As there is an increased blood flow to the brain, Shirshasana improves memory and intelligence. The body parts that are benefited through this Asana are the endocrine glands; the Pituitary, Thyroid, Parathyroid and Pineal glands. It also helps in any sort of non-alignment of the spine. It also helps in improving the quality of sleep.
This Asana reduces and prevents health conditions such as tension, fatigue, nervousness, insomnia, amnesia, fear, headache, constipation, Asthma, spleen or liver disorders and congestion of throat. As the blood circulation to the scalp is increased, it promotes hair growth.