What is Shirshasana or Headstand pose and its Benefits? The headstand pose or Shirsasana, is the king of all poses because it shows off a person’s flexibility and balance. When  (Join our yoga school in Rishikesh)you see someone balancing their entire body weight on their head, it is quite impressive. However, it isn’t easy to get this pose right, and it can take time. But once you do, practicing it regularly will benefit your health in so many ways!

“It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.” 

– B.K.S. Iyengar


Shirshasana is known as Headstand Pose in English language. Shirshasana comes from the Sanskrit language , it forms from two words “Shirsha” and “asana” which means are as follows:

  • Shirsha – “head”
  • Asana – “posture”

Shirshasana is pronounced as Shir-sha-asa-na.

Due to its multiple health benefits, Shirshasana is extremely popular. It stimulates blood circulation and ensures that the brain is sufficiently oxygenated. Among all the postures in yoga, the headstand occupies the foremost place due to its immense significance in maintaining our health and enhancing our metabolic system. Shirshasana is the most popular (Join our yoga teacher training in Rishikesh) pose in the whole routine. Shirshasana must be practiced under the supervision of an experienced yoga teacher at the time when you are learning the headstand pose. If done in the right way and under expert supervision, this yoga posture contributes to ultimate healing. Standing still and comfortably is also important in Shirshasana so that it has the maximum impact. The longer you hold a pose, the better the effects will be. So, now move to the benefits of Shirshasana:

Benefits of Shirshasana (Headstand Pose)

The benefits of Shirshasana or headstand pose improves body awareness, circulation, and posture helps reduce swelling in your ankles and feet, boosts energy, fights fatigue, and build confidence. Here is the list of some of the benefits of Shirshasana are as follows:

  • Good for Brain
  • Cure Headache and Migraine
  • Cure Diabetes
  • Treat Sexual Disorder
  • Relief Stress and Anxiety
  • Prevent Hairfall
  • Strengthens the Core
  • Strengthens arms and Shoulder
  • Improve Digestion
  • Spiritual benefits
  • Improve Eyesight

Good for Brain

As your body turns upside down by doing Shirshasana, blood flow is reversed and increased throughout your body, including your head. As blood rushes to your head, it provides the brain with more oxygen, which boosts cognitive performance.

Cure Headache and Migraine

Flipping over helps strengthen the compression of blood vessels in the brain that reduce and cure migraines and headaches.

Cure Diabetes

The main cause of diabetes is the pituitary gland whose symptoms itself manifest in the malfunctioning of the pancreas. Headstand pose enhances the working of the pancreas through the increased blood flow, thereby improving sugar metabolism in the blood thus helping in curing diabetes.

Treat Sexual Disorder

Headstand pose is effective in treating prostate problems, water retention, leucorrhea, spermatorrhea, (Join our 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh) as well as general menopausal and menstrual problems. It drains blood from the associated endocrine glands and organs, improving their function.

Relief Stress

Shirshasana or Headstand pose help reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Moreover, with increased blood flow to the brain, dopamine and serotonin are also released, helping to regulate your mood.

Prevent Hairfall

Shirshasana will increase the flow of nutrients and oxygen to your hair follicles, meaning your hair and scalp will feel healthier and prevent hair fall.

Strengthens the Core

A Shirshasana can be a great workout for your core. When you do it, you completely rely on your core muscles to hold up your legs and to maintain balance. Try the pose regularly for a powerful core.

Strengthens Arms and Shoulder

You strengthen your arms and shoulders during a Shirshasana, by keeping your head off the ground. This is a great posture if you want to develop upper body strength.

Improve Digestion

By doing Shirshasana, you are increasing the flow of blood to the digestive organs, which in turn improves nutrient absorption and digestion. You are also stimulating the pituitary, which is involved in digestion. 

Spiritual benefits

The Shirshasana helps in spiritual and energy benefits. You can use it to improve spiritual practices like meditation.

Improve Eyesight

By Shirshasana the eyes also receive more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, which enhances the function of sensory organs.

How-to-Do Shirshasana (Headstands)

Always go slow and one step at a time while performing Shirshasana or Headstand pose. Never rush through (Join our 300 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh) the Shirshasana as this could lead to an accident. Before moving to how stepwise guide here are some beginner’s tips and preparation poses for Shirshasana:

Shirshasana Beginner’s tips

Here are some of the beginner’s tips you should know before starting Shirshasana or Headstand pose are as follows:

  • Use support first: You can practice this pose against a wall. As you gain more strength and balance in the pose, take one foot away from the wall.
  • Start with small: As you hold your pose, initially focus on holding it for 10 seconds, then gradually add 5 to 10 seconds at a time. It’s better to hold a solid 20-second pose than one that is lacking in integrity.
  • Exit gracefully: As you lower your legs, use your abs to make the movement smooth. Exhale to bring your shoulders back up to their original position.

Shirshasana preparation poses

Some of the poses done before practicing the Shirshasana are as follows:

  • Warm-up by stretching the whole body
  • Surya Namaskar
  • Tadasana
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
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Shirshasana step-by-step guide

Now, the step-by-step guide to performing Shirshasana or Headstands are as follows:

  1. Sit upon the heels with the knees and the feet together.
  2. Hold the opposite elbows and then slowly place the forearms on the mat, close to the knees.
  3. Now, stretch the arms forward and interlock the fingers without moving the elbows. 

NOTE: Interlocked elbows and hands form a tripod, and it should be firmly pressed downwards.

  1. Now, the head’s top is placed on the mat close to the interlocked hands. 
  2. Without moving the head and the elbows, straighten the knees.
  3. Now, push the feet forward until the back feels straight, and the buttocks are vertically over the head.
  4. Bring one knee close to the chest, then the other knee, bringing the heels close to the buttocks. 
  5. Hold this position for up to 5 seconds. This is the half headstand pose.
  6. Now, begin moving the knees upward towards the ceiling, keeping them bent and together. 

NOTE: The heels are still close to the buttocks and keep the tripod firmly grounded.

  1. Now, slowly straighten the knees and bring the feet up together. This is the Shirsasana or Headstand pose.
  2. Keep your body weight on the tripod and hold the Shirshasana for up to 5 to 10 seconds or as long as you can. Then gradually increase it.
  3. Breathe deeply and relax your entire body before coming out of Shirshasana.

Come out from Shirshasana(Headstand Pose)

  1. Bend your knees.
  2. Bring the knees to the chest.
  3. Bring the feet down to the floor.
  4. Now, relax into the Child’s Pose for 5 seconds.
  5. Now, come to Savasana and take a rest for 10 seconds.

Precautions of Shirshasana(Headstand Pose)

Precautions you should (Join our 500 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh) know before performing Shirshasana or Headstand pose are as follows:

  • Before beginning the Shirshasana or Headstand pose, spend a few minutes warming up.
  • When practicing near a wall, do not lean against it. Try to only use it as a safety net to keep you from falling.
  • Do not eat for 2-3 hours before practicing Headstand pose. 
  • Shirshasana is not advisable for those suffering from acute migraines, shoulder or neck problems.
  • Pregnant women should avoid this pose as the risk of falling out of it is high.
  • A child under seven years of age shouldn’t attempt Shirshasana due to their soft skulls.
  • You should avoid Shirshasana if you suffer from hypertension or suffers from any serious heart condition.
  • Shirshasana is not recommended to try this pose if you have glaucoma, since it could increase the pressure in the eyes.
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Does Shirsasana (Headstand pose) improve eyesight?

Yes, Shirsasana or Headstand pose improves eyesight as with a flip of the head, flipping your head over gives you extra oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, which is a great thing for your eyes. It also improves your overall health.

Is Shirshasana (Headstand pose) Good For Hair?

Yes, Shirshasana or Headstand pose enhances the blood flow to the head and scalp, preventing hair loss, graying, and promoting hair growth. It also helps to improve your facial complexion.

Is Shirshasana (Headstand pose) Good For Skin glow?

Yes, Shirshasana or Headstand pose is good for skin glow by increasing circulation towards the face, Shirshasana improves facial complexions.

How much time we should do the Shirshasana (Headstand pose)?

Time should do the Shirshasana or Headstand pose, beginners should begin with 30 seconds to 1 minute and then increase the time gradually.

Can We Do Shirshasana (Headstand pose) Daily?

Yes, according to experts, we should practice Shirshasana or Headstand pose daily for as long as 15 minutes. Morning time is the best time to perform this asana for maximum benefit.

Why is Shirshasana (Headstand pose) the king of asanas?

Shirshana is the king of all asanas due to its immense benefits. It supplies nutrient-rich blood to our brain, which acts as a regulator for our entire body. Thus, Shirsasana makes our brain and scalp function more effectively by increasing blood supply to them.

Can Shirshasana (Headstand pose) reduce weight?

Shirshasana or Headstand pose is considered a powerful yoga posture for weight loss, but it takes practice to master it. It is effective for losing weight quickly. It improve digestion as well as tone your abdominal organs, reducing belly fat too.

By Zubair Pateljiwala

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