Shirshasana


Shirshasana a.k.a. ‘head-stand pose’

This yoga asana stabilises the muscles in the body and releases tension from the torso, leaving muscles in an expanded state. This is why it is the last yoga asana in the Prana Vashya™ sequence of postures. When coming into this position, placing the weight towards the crown of the head makes for a more neutral spine and a better balanced position; as does fixing your vision point.


This yoga asana, as with all inverted positions, should be perfected under the guidance of a qualified teacher before adopting the same in self-practice.


How to get into the position

Come onto your knees and bend forward, holding your arms just above your elbows – this ensures that your arms are shoulder width apart – then move your body forward placing the forearms on the floor (keeping your arms shoulder width apart). Interlock your fingers to form a triangle with where your elbows are positioned.


Place the crown of your head in the space between your palms. Gently press your hands against your head to get a firm grip. Then raise your siting bones off the floor and keeping your knees and legs straight, walk your feet towards your head. Engage your core, inhale and then lift both legs straight up off the floor. On the exhalation, ensure a straight body line (your toes should be above your waist and not your forehead).


Hold this position for eight full breaths.


Benefits

Shirshasana:

  • Helps relieve stress accumulation;

  • Increases lung mobility (as discussed above);

  • Improves digestion;

  • Stimulates the prostate and thyroid;


Contraindications

Avoid this posture if you have hypertension or neck injury, spinal issues, heart problems.


Any practitioner with anxiety issues may also wish to avoid inverted positions if it causes discomfort.

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