THE HEADSTAND — ŚĪRṢĀSANA
In yoga, Headstand is considered to be the ‘king of āsanas’ due to the remarkable benefits it brings to memory and concentration. Learning to balance upside down can bring you great confidence, and help you overcome fears, but be sure to practice it carefully, only after you have studied all the information about the technique and contraindications.
The headstand is a boon for developing brain power and a healthy heart, and the beauty of it is that nearly anyone can do it. To the surprise of many people, it does not require any special strength or flexibility; all you need to do is respect certain basic considerations and follow the step-by-step guidelines given. Once you have learned it, it feels as natural to stand on your head as it does to stand on your feet.
You may wonder how the small vertebrae of the cervical region can support the weight of the body, which in the upright position is carried by the large vertebrae of the lumbar area. The answer is that they do not have to: during Headstand, more than half of the body weight should actually be placed on the arms. The remaining weight can be taken by the head, as long as the neck is properly aligned with the rest of the spinal column.
• Slower breathing & heart rates, strong respiratory and circulatory systems.
• Increased flow of blood & nutrients to brain, spinal cord and sympathetic nervous system.
• All body functions are toned and enhanced. Disorders of the nerves, eyes, ears, nose and throat are improved.
• Relief for varicose veins, renal colic, and stubborn constipation, dropped stomach and asthma.
• Pressure is relieved in the lower back.
• Memory & intellectual capacity are increased.
• Improved concentration: particularly beneficial to people who need strong powers of concentration in their work: students, politicians, artists, scientists and writers.
• Improved sensory faculties (eyesight, hearing).