Sirsasana or Headstand: King of Yogasanas

In Headstand (Sirsasana), the body is inverted, and held upright supported by the forearms, while the crown of the head rests lightly on the floor. The practice of sirsasana increases the flow of blood to the brain; improve memory and other functions of the cerebrum and physiological benefits of the drainage of blood and lymph.It improves many ailments, such as nervousness, tension, fatigue, sleeplessness, dullness, fear.It stimulates the most important endocrine gland the pituitary gland that is responsible for our very existence, for it keeps the body mechanism in good working order. Pituitary gland is called the master gland of the body. As a consequence, the practice of the headstand helps us to get relief from many of our troubles, physical as well as mental, or to prevent them. It helps to put the spine into correct alignment. It restores the position of vital organs by reversing gravity.The quality of sleep is improved. Poor sleep is often due to an excess of nerve impulses from the reticular formation to the cerebral cortex in the brain. The headstand causes an increase in circulation to the neck, which stimulates the baroreceptors in the neck. This calms the reticular formation down, causing reduced nerve impulses to the cerebral cortex. This results in a peaceful, deep steep. Because of the many benefits of the headstand, the yogis often refer to it as the ‘king of the asanas’.

Sirsasana is contraindicated for persons having abnormal blood pressure (high or low), glaucoma, detached retina, brain disease, brain injury, neck injury, and back injury. Don’t do the headstand if you have high or low blood pressure. First get your blood pressure normal by natural means by appropriate food and nutrition, aerobic exercise and other asanas. Atherosclerosis (blocked blood vessels) or any history of stroke is also contraindication to doing the headstand. You must improve your circulatory system first, before attempting it.If you have any serious eye diseases, ask your eye specialist’s advice about doing the headstand. Avoid this exercise if you are suffering from constipation, when the stool is excessively dry, if you have pus in your ears, if you are suffering from chronic nasal catarrh, or from very weak eye capillaries. If you suffer from a neck injury or osteoarthritis in your neck, you must improve your neck condition first.

Sirsana or headstand may be practiced for fifteen seconds at first, adding fifteen seconds more per week up to optimum time of 15 minutes for daily practice. It should be preferably done in conjunction with other yogasanas. Sirsasana is one of the toughest asana to practice, so it is always preferred that one should practice it under the supervision or guidance of yoga guru or instructor.

Dr Mahesh Chandra Panda
Yoga Practitioner


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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9 Responses to Sirsasana or Headstand: King of Yogasanas

  1. Sirsasna is good for young age. Elderly and diabetics should preferably avoid if doing for the first time. Sudden and uncontrolled increase in blood flow in head, may lead to leak of blood in elderly and diabetics. Theory of “Increase of blood flow to parts of brain, improves function of brain” too is questionable as then hypertensives should have better brain function then people with normal brain function. Any sudden change in flow mechanism of blood is a challenge for parts of body, which helps in younger age to condition the body, but may damage the weak capillaries. In fact blood flow to various parts of body is very meticulously controlled by various systems of body. Moreover every part including pituitary has its own controls on function. I practiced sirsasana regularly in younger age. The benefits to specific muscles as exercise are non-controversial but rest of benefits are more likely to be hypothetical. Mentioned health benefits appear exaggerated and probably misleading.

  2. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    Respected Sir,

    Your vivid description of Sirsasana shows clear understanding realistically ,but not so easy to master the same and even to desire as this is not common for all in first and foremost health point of view. Before practicing this asana one must seek and obtain the authentic certificate from doctor, yoga teacher, psychologist and kundalini exponents, because without physical, mental, emotional fitness no question of entry to school of Astanga Hatha Yoga, then how to think for Sirsasana, head and majestic pose. One should have knowledge to strengthen the annamaya kosha, pranamaya kosha, manamaya kosha, vignanamaya kosha and anandamaya kosha by sattwic food; the character and habits are prime essentials to acquire this asana which simulates Samudra-Manthan (churning of ocean) by gods and goddess with demons for nectar. Here our gravitational physique with mental and psychic body is posed against the gravity of earth for the same nectar to evolve as a perfect human being to accomplish the divine task. So it is mandatory for real spiritual seeker with graduation of above criteria. Sira means head pivot point; the seat of Sahasra chakra that accumulates all divine energy from all six chakras and conserves that for recirculation in body mind and intellect for blissful soul. This is my hypothesis which I have grasped regarding Sirsasana.

    With regards and thanks,
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr.Binod Bihari Naik

  3. Santhosh says:

    Dear Uncle,

    Thanks a lot for the wonderful article on “Sirsasana”, as always you are really helping many to gain knowledge through the internet medium.

    Gratitude 🙂
    Thanks and Kind Regards,
    Santhosh KV
    SAP-SRM Consultant,
    HP, Bangalore

  4. I read about sirsasana the tough & king of asanas and its utility, precaution, position etc. As per comment of Dr Madan Goyal it is not good for Diabetic. Could you please mention which asanas are prohibited for Diabetic.

    Thanking you with high regards.

  5. Respected Sir,

    A nice article regarding the king of asana i.e. Sirsasana. It is really a helpful lesson for the Yoga practitioner as well as the society. This article highlights the importance of Sirsasana. As we know that the blood circulation of human body is mainly upward and downward direction from the heart. At the time of doing Sirsasana the whole body parts force on Head and at that time the concentration of blood circulation is focused on Brain that is why the brain is developed when it works. Sir at that time the breathing is also important factor for best result of the asana. The main aim of doing the asana is to possess good health.

  6. Madhusudan Mahunta says:


    I read your article which described about Sirsasana.You described the asana vividly which is helpful to all. Because you are a yoga and medical practitioner your description is highly appreciated.It is really scientific and valuable for the society.

    Madhusudan Mahunta

  7. Purnima Panda says:

    Pranam kaka,

    Yoga is a continuous process. The deeper we move into our yoga practice, the more profound are it’s benefits. I tried this sirsasana in my school age, it is difficult to attain the right posture in one or two attempts. As this asana has so many health benefits and some restrictions too, it is important to learn and practice this posture under the supervision of a trained teacher.

    A very informative article.

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