SIRSASANA is the most iconic and admired Yoga Asana and for thousands of years Yogis have been identified with standing on their Heads! The Headstand conjures up ideas of Mastery over the Body, overcoming Fears in the Mind and an immersion into the Meditative arts.
Why Sirsasana? 5 Benefits of the ‘King of Asanas!’
- By inverting the Body, blood flow is re-directed to the Head; thereby stimulating the functioning of the Brain. As we grow older and the neck muscles tighten, lesser Blood flows upwards and while this may be marginal – by re-directing the blood flow upwards, we ensure that brain functions like Memory, Focus & Creativity don’t diminish.
- Sirsasana re-stimulates the functioning of the Pineal gland. This small gland calcifies once we reach the age of about 8. However, unlike the Appendix, the Body continues to nourish the Pineal gland. For a long time, Medical researchers were searching for the function of the Pineal gland. Apart from its role in Sleep, the Pineal gland is also very active in Meditation. This was seen in Electro-Encaphalogram studies of Buddhist monks while Meditating. This corroborates the Pineal gland’s importance in Yogic lore – where it relates to Bindu Visarga, one of 8 chakras in some Yogic systems. It connects Man to spiritual insight.
- Sirsasana is not recommended for people with High BP initially, although over time and if the practitioner can rightly do Headstand, it helps alleviate the condition.
- In addition, it gives the practitioner a unique Confidence in his Body’s abilities. We naturally walk upright but by learning to stand on our Heads, we overcome not just Fears but also various limiting conditioning of our Minds.
- Finally, the Core gets toned as it engages in order to raise your body upwards! Even the Legs get toned as you have to work against gravity to hold your body upwards. Neck, Shoulder & Arm muscles are strengthened as you come up and then come down from Sirsasana.
How to do Sirsasana in 21 Days? (or less/ or more)
Everyday you’ll be learning and practising Asanas that will eventually get you into Sirsasana by the end of the 21 Days. Each day practise everything from the previous days and add that day’s Asanas.
Day 1: Learn to Stand Straight, Breathe Deep and Roll over!
1) Stand Straight with your Hands beside your hips, looking ahead and take a few deep Ujjayi Breaths*.
Now place your Index and Middle fingers on the front part of the pelvic girdle and thumbs on the back part. Slowly tilt the hips upwards so that your abdomen muscles engage and it does not protrude forward, your lower back engages and your overall standing posture is upright, as it should be in Sirsasana.
2) Standing in Tadasana, raise your arms upwards, join the palms and raise your torso and entire body up onto your toes. Maintain your body upright as you hold this posture breathing in Ujjayi Pranayam.
For Sirsasana, it’s important to Breathe deeply through Ujjayi Pranayam. Breathing creates a guttural sound through the throat as if you were snoring. The sound isn’t coming from the air being forced through the nostrils, rather from the throat.
Watch Video here
Before you can confidently go up into Sirsasana, it’s important that you overcome the fear of falling. For this you should be comfortable rolling over over like we all did as Children!
Day 2: Surya Namskaars (11 rounds for Warm-Up) and Neck Stretching and Strengthening
Day 3: Parvatasana (for shoulder opening) and Sirsasana Training (in a Corner between walls)
Day 4: Bhujangasana (for back opening)
Day 5: Santolanasana (for core-strengthening)
Day 6: Dhanurasana (for back opening)
Day 7: Sarvangasana (inversion asana)
Day 8: Dwikonasana (for shoulder opening)
Day 9: Dhanurasana (for back opening)
Day 10: Sampattasana (for core strengthening) and Sirsasana Training (6 inches from the wall)
Day 11: Vipareet Naukasana (for back strengthening)
Day 12: Gomukhasana (for shoulder opening)
Day 13: Ushtrasana (for back and hip opening)
Day 14: Halasana (inversion asana)
Day 15: Naukasana (for core strengthening)
Day 16: Shalabhasana (for back strengthening)
Day 17: Chakrasana (for back, hip opening and strengthening)
Day 18: Sirsasana Training (away from the wall; raising into half pose)
Day 19: Sirsasana Training (away from the wall; raising into half pose and dropping legs with bent knees backwards)