Kapalasana - The Skull



कपाल kapāl: skull. See also etymology below.


This is a variant of Shirsasana. It is interesting in that it can start from Kakasana, adding an element of balance and play to the position.

Starting point in Kakasana

The knee rest on the elbows. Once stable, the feet are raised from the ground as high as possible.

Kakasana Kakasana

Transition phase

Next, the body tilts forwards with the weight of the trunk resting on top of the skull. The knees go away from the elbows. In this way, the sustentation of the body is formed by the hands-head triangle:


Final phase

From there, the legs are stretched to come in line with the trunk forming a vertical with the ground.



  • According to the physiological and skeleto-muscular state of the person, the posture should be held for 4 minutes minimum. Breathing is free, with simple full and empty retentions: this leads to a progressive incorporation of an energetic breathing.
  • Eyes can be open and fix a point in the horizontal, or closed to intensify the posture.
  • See also Shirsasana


  • कपाल kapāl: cotton, cotton (stuff); cottony, downy; of the colour of the cotton plant, or its flower, light green, yellow.
  • kapāl, s.m. The skull, the cranium, the skull-bone; the head; the forehead; the glene
  • fate, destiny
  • the fragment of a vessel, a potsherd; either half of a water-jar
  • the shell (of an egg, etc.);
  • kapāl phūṭna (-kā) - a kind of leprosy, 'The head to be broken';
  • kapāl-kriyā - to be unfortunate
  • kapāl-kriyā - The ceremony of breaking the skull of a corpse (when a dead body is burning, and nearly reduced to ashes, the son or the nearest relation breaks the skull with the stroke of a bamboo and pours melted butter into the cavity):--kapāl-kriyā karnā (-kī, or apnī), To break the skull of a burnt corpse with a bamboo
  • (met.) to beat or cudgel one's brains, to think intensely:--kapāl khulnā (-kā), To have a favourable turn of fortune.