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