The Sanskrit word sirsha means head. This posture is the well-known headstand posture. Sirsha-asana is an extremely powerful asana. Its physical and mental benefits derive both from emphasis on balance and the body's inverted position. It is called the "king of asana" because of its overall effect on the whole body.
Assume the position of Vajra Asana.
Bring the head down and place it on the ground.
Interlock the hands and keep them on the backside of your head.
Slowly raise your legs together and stretch them straight on the ground as much as possible.
This is a preparatory posture for Sirsha Asana.
The distance between the elbows should be equal to the distance between the head and elbow of each arm.
Palms should support the back portion of the head.
Hands should not support the weight of the body throughout the Asana.
After assuming the preparatory position slowly bend the knees and raise them upwards.
The weight of the body is borne by the head supported by the interlocked hands behind and the forearms in the front.
In the final posture the body should be perfectly straight and exactly vertical.
The most important point to be remembered in the final posture is that neither the forehead nor the back of the head should rest on the ground but only the crown of the head.
In the initial stages, beginners should try to do this Asana with the help of a friend. In the absence of anybody, practise this Asana against the comer of a wall so as to prevent falling down. The duration of stay in the final posture differs from person to person, depending upon experience and the purpose for which Yogic practices are being undertaken.
Beginners may stay in the final posture for about 15 to 30 seconds.
The duration may be extended gradually.
While raising the body or staying in the final posture the eyes should never become bloodshot. H they do, the posture is presumed to be faulty.
An advanced way of doing this Asana is to bring both the legs down and form the Padma Asana. This is called Padma Sirsha Asana.
It stimulates four of the most important endocrine glands - the pituitary, the pineal, the thyroid, and the parathyroid glands. It has a very beneficial effect on the whole body.
It improves many ailments, such as nervousness, tension, fatigue, sleeplessness, dullness, fear, poor blood circulation, bad memory, asthma, headaches, constipation, congested throat, liver or spleen, for female disorders, the initial stages of eye and nose troubles, and general lack of energy, vitality or self confidence.
It promotes hair growth by increasing circulation to the scalp improved brain function (intelligence and memory) and increased vitality and confidence.
It keeps the spine into correct alignment.
It restores the position of vital organs by reversing gravity.
It improves sleep.