Have you seen these beautiful pictures of acrobats and yogis doing headstands or sirasana? You might have thought about doing the same but backed out because you were too scared to even try it. Very honestly, nobody wants to turn their world upside down when constant negative thoughts about breaking their neck keeps haunting them. Relax no one is born a Yogi! Nevertheless, as they say, practice makes a man perfect. If you do it under proper guidance, it won’t seem scarier anymore.
Precaution: Before you try it, make sure you do not have a back or neck injury. Do not perform a headstand if you have high blood pressure.
It should also be avoided by-
- Women during pregnancy and menstruation
- Heart patients
- People with osteoporosis
How to do a headstand?
STEPS (Refer cover image)
- Come on your hands with elbows and knees on the ground. Place your ankle under your hips.
- Bring your forearms to the floor, such that they are directly under your shoulders. Adjust and make sure the elbows are properly spaced.
- Open your palms and intertwine your fingers together. Monitor the distance and place your hands such that the lower finger isn’t getting crushed.
- Place the top of your head on the floor in the space between your forearms. The top of the head should be pointing down and remember your hands shouldn’t be holding your skull.
- Lift your hips and try to straighten your legs diagonally with feet still on the ground.
- Gently move your feet in by bringing your hips close to your shoulders.
- Now pull in your knees towards the chest.
- Now the main part, with a slight push, lift your legs off the floor.
- Try to maintain the posture for a few seconds.
While coming back, make sure you come back to the ground slowly so as to avoid any injuries. Also, it would be great for beginners to take support of a wall and learn balancing before jumping to the original state of headstand.
Follow headstand with child pose
It is important to perform child pose after doing a headstand order to help relieve the neck pressure, other muscular stiffness, bring blood flow back to normal, and provide yourself with a few moments of relaxation to relish the effects of the asana.
Benefits of headstand
Sirsasana is called the “King of all asanas" because it enables us to overcome the force of gravity in the physical world, stimulates the Sahasrara energy center (center of limitless consciousness) in our head, and gifts us with various benefits that are-
1) Gives a glam to your skin
While doing a headstand, the blood flows to reach the head by reversing the law of gravity and thus providing the upper part of your body a boost of nutrients. This adds glow to your face.
2) Drops depression
Headstand can help to release stress and mild depression. It happens because they arise the pituitary gland, which releases “feel-good hormones” endorphins. Headstands can also slow down the production of the stress hormone cortisol while increasing the blood movement to your brain.
3) Increases focus and attention
Headstands paired up with other asanas can stimulate mindfulness and help you stay present at the moment. Deep breathing plus a headstand increase your attention effectively. This can help to improve mental functioning.
4) Promotes digestion
Standing in an upside-down position, which can promote the movement of things along your digestive tract. Apart from that, by improving the blood flow, it upsurges the absorption of nutrients.
5) Stimulates the lymphatic system
Your lymphatic system works to remove waste products from your bloodstream. By doing a headstand, you can straightaway stimulate your ‘lymph nodes and lymphatic system to remove toxins from your body.
6) Tones your shoulders & arms
Standing on your head is a great way to increase the strength of your arms. During a headstand, your forearms and shoulders will support your whole body weight without putting pressure on your neck and spine. This in turn will strengthen arm endurance.
7) Reduces water retention in the ankles and feet
Bending over, on your head will help reduce swelling and swelling of the foot and ankle. Raising your legs, straight above your shoulder helps remove moisture from your feet and legs.
8) Strengthens your core
Headstand is an excellent core workout. Eventually, as you get better at it and start using core instead of a slight kick to get upside down, it will improve your overall balance. By practicing confidently, you will learn to use your core strength to master headstand.
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Headstand gives your heart a little "rest" because it is constantly pumping blood to your brain. Your body will start aligning eventually and you will be more aware of your balancing powers. It honestly takes time to do a perfect headstand; some will master it in a month while some may take 3+ months depending on the regularity of the practice. So, keep trying, you’ll nail it one day.