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The Shirshasana – The Classic Head Stand Yoga Pose


Yoga is an ancient Hindu exercise system which consists of keeping the body static in a number of positions called Asana. These Asana are supposed to have a beneficial effect on the human body. Yoga is a two-dimensional exercise system that also has a spiritual side.

Yogic poses are different from modern exercise systems, in that unlike modern exercise systems that involve repetitions, yogic Asana stress on retaining a pose for a certain length of time.

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Shirshasana or the Head Stand

Classic Head Stand Yoga Pose

One of the most famous Asana is the head stand or inverted pose, also referred to as the Shirshasana. This Asana is considered the king of all Yogic Asana. If done regularly, it can tone up the body and boost spiritual health too. Shirshasana can lead a man to develop extra sensory perception. However, that is a difficult proposition and best left to the experts.

Yogic Asana require an airy place, for example a room or a garden. You will need an exercise mat that can be purchased at any sports shop. For the head stand, wear loose clothing and do it in the morning, after your prayers and ablutions. The steps in doing the Shirshasana are outlined below.

Steps to do the Head Stand

Place the small mat on the floor, preferably in the center of the room. If you are a novice, place the mat adjacent to a wall. If you are doing the asana indoors, ensure the room is uncluttered. Prepare yourself mentally for the exercise.

Follow up by placing your hands under your head so as to form a cushion. Position yourself like you would if you’re doing a somersault and give a vigorous push upwards. As you go up, straighten your legs, stand still and close your eyes and meditate if possible. If you’re a beginner, use the wall as a support so that you do not slide down. Do the movement smoothly without any jerking. Once you are standing on your head, close your eyes and recite a prayer and remain calm and relaxed.

Retain the pose for 30 seconds and slowly increase the time over a period of weeks. You can go up to five minutes. When you’ve completed the pose, lower your legs slowly and come back to your original position and then lie down on the mat for a rest (Shav asana). Remember the Shav asana is complementary to the head stand and is required after you have completed the head stand. This is integral to the Shirshasana.

Last Word

The head stand is very beneficial and strengthens the back muscles as well as the spine. The trick in doing this pose is to do a quick half somersault and raise the legs upwards. It is important that you do not attempt this pose if you are suffering from high blood pressure or any other ailment.