Sirsasana - Headstand

 

Etymology

śīrṣa - head.  Often writen shirsha and shirsa.

 

Presentation

Sirsasana symbolizes the inversion of the look on the affaires of live taken by the yogi. In other words, it symbolizes the opportunity to accomplish the inner life rather than being attracted by the fallacious aspect of external and material objects.

 

Starting point

The starting point is the embryo posture, with the top of the skull resting on the ground. The hands are entwined and wrap the head on the space between the top of the skull and the frontal hairline. The distance between the elbows is that of the forearm-knuckles: in this way a stable triangular sustention is formed. The forearms rest on the ground.

 

Sirsasana

 

From this initial position, the pelvis is raised and the legs stretched backward. Only the toes remain on the ground. From here, while using the head-forearms ground support, one does small steps towards the torso. The feet come nearer to the head, leading to an elevation of the pelvis up to the vertical:

 

Sirsasana

 

As long as the pelvis is not positioned correctly, the support of the feet cannot be substituted completely by the one of the head-forearms triangle:

Sirsasana

Note: In the initial stages of learning this posture, one must be initially insure that the space behind the back is free. It can be covered by pillows and soft covers. Indeed, it is usual to loose balance and fall backward.

Finally, once arrived to the intermediary position, balance is insured. Then, the legs progressively adopt the following definitive position:

Sirsasana Sirsasana Sirsasana

 

At this level, one must first keep the eyes open, fixing a point in the horizontal line. After feeling comfortable, it is suggested to have the eyelids closed to experience fully the inner work.

Note: In the beginning, keep this posture for a few seconds only and come back to the initial pose by inverse movements of the legs. During the next inhalation gently tilt the head, while opening the hands and making a fist and put one fist on the other: then rest the forehead on the fist while raising the pelvis so that the trunk is at the same level of the head. In this position, insure that no pain has occurred in the cervical area. If such is the case wrap the hands in the neck with the elbows forward touching one another. This stretches the vertebra. In all cases, insure the in-out movement of energy in the spine and fix the glabella with the inner vision.

When the neck grows comfortable with the posture (cervical vertebrae and neck muscles), one can remain a minimum of 4 minutes in the final stage. Breathing remains easy and only full-lung retentions are used. Progressively, the practitioner dives into a purely energetic breathing.

This position may require a progressive approach and should never be forced.

 

Effects

Shirsasana inverses the energetic processes of the whole body: what was above is now below. Physiologically, the venous circulation in the legs is assisted, as well as that of the jugular aorta towards the brain. This posture promotes the overall blood circulation, leading to major and immediate benefits.

In a more classical understanding, it is said that through this posture the immortality nectar, which normally drips downward from the pituitary gland, can be saved. In this way, the nectar is not burned in the combustion of the digestive fire, but preserved in the cerebral zone. It is said that this position promotes health and longevity and allows age regression.

 

Padmasana Version:

Sirsasana Sirsasana