Shirsha means “head.”
Shirshasana is considered the king of all asana. Its benefits are numerous, from reversing gravity to aiding circulation. This pose also improves memory, concentration, and sensory acuity.
1. The focus in this asana is balancing on the forearms and elbows, not the head.
2. Kneel down with your elbows touching the floor. Rest your weight on your elbows.
3. Fold your hands together, palms facing you. Keep your fingers interlocked and place them in front of you with your elbows on the floor. This is your base.
4. Place the back of your head inside your clasped hands with the crown of your head on the floor.
5. Straighten your knees and raise your hips. Do not bend your knees, but walk your feet as close to your head as possible.
6. Bring your hips back so that your neck is not bent.
7. Concentrating, bend your knees and lift your feet from the floor. Pause, then slowly, keeping your knees bent, lift them toward the sky.
8. Slowly straighten your legs. The body’s weight should be on the forearms, not the head.
9. To release, reverse the position. Bring your knees down to your chest, then to the floor. Kneel down as you did in the beginning of the pose and go into the Child’s Pose (see page 92,
Mudhasana the counterpose for the headstand.
Note: Even if you just do the preparation pose, without actually completing the headstand, there are numerous benefits.