Sirsasana, headstand, is an inversion and one of the most powerful yoga postures. It is known as the “king of asanas” because it has so many health benefits. It can be challenging to get into this pose and do not get frustrated if you do not go up the first time. It took me about three months of daily practice to get into headstand using the wall and another three to be able to get into it in the middle of the room. If you have any neck or shoulder injuries I would suggest working with a highly skilled yoga teacher before attempting this asana.
Five amazing benefits of a regular headstand practice:
1. Strengthens the immune system. The lymphatic system is responsible for waste removal and immune system response. This system is a closed pressure system made up of one-way valves that move the lymph fluids towards the heart. Turning upside down stimulates the entire lymphatic system which boosts your immune system.
2. Improves brain function. Headstand stimulates the nervous system by increasing blood flow to the brain. It stimulates the nervous system which increases mental sharpness and clearer thinking.
3. Promotes calmness. Headstand is a soothing and centering pose. It is great for people that have trouble sleeping or suffer from anxiety. Regular practice of this asana will help with insomnia as well as stress.
4. Supports the digestive system. Headstands helps to cleanse the organs by removing the pull that gravity has on them. It increases digestive fire and produces heat in the body. This asana supports detoxification of the liver, kidneys, stomach, and intestines.
5. Emotional growth. Many people are afraid of being upside down. Headstand provides a great opportunity to face the fear of being on your head. Practicing headstand literally turns your down upside down thus giving you a new perspective. It allows you to experiment stepping into the unknown and challenges you to work with fear.
I have been cultivating a relationship with this asana for many years. It has been an incredible journey that will continue as I practice each day. I am looking forward to further deepening this relationship and continuing to receive the numerous benefits from this pose.
Happy handstand-ing ;)
Photo: Anaïs & Dax