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Shirshasana (Headstand) view from front and side

Sirsasana, Shirshasana (/ʃərˈʃɑːsɑːnɑː/ sheer-SHAH-sahn-ah[1]; Sanskrit: शीर्षासन; IAST: Śīrṣāsana), Sirshasana, or Yoga Headstand is an asana.

In the Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirshasana),[2] the body is completely inverted, and held upright supported by the forearms, while the crown of the head rests lightly on the floor.

Sirsasana is nicknamed "king" of all the asanas.[3][4][5][6][7]

Sirsasana video

A variety of other asanas can be used to build the upper body strength and balance required for Sirsasana.[8]


The name comes from the Sanskrit words Shirsha (शीर्ष, Śīrṣa) meaning "head",[9] and Asana (आसन, Āsana) meaning "posture" or "seat".[10]

Contraindications and cautions[edit]

TheYogaDr recommends not doing shirshasana if one has high blood pressure,[11] heart palpitations, or glaucoma.[11]

Schumacher recommends against shirshasana during menstruation[8] severe hypotension or hypertension,[8] hiatal hernia,.[8]


Transliteration English Image
Salamba Shirshasana 2 Headstand 2 [1]
Salamba Shirshasana 3 Headstand 3 [2]
Baddha Hasta Shirshasana Bound Hands Headstand [3]
Baddha Konasana Shirshasana Bound Angle Pose in Headstand [4]
Eka Pada Shirshasana Single Leg Headstand [5]
Mukta Hasta Shirshasana Free Hands Headstand [6]
Parivrttaikapada Shirshasana Single Leg Revolved Headstand [7]
Parshva Shirshasana Side Headstand [8]
Parshvaikapada Shirshasana Single Leg Headstand [9]
Upavistha Konasana Shirshasana Seated Angle Pose in Headstand [10]
Urdhva Padmasana in Sirsasana Upward Lotus in Headstand [11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Budilovsky, Joan; Adamson, Eve (2000). The complete idiot's guide to yoga (2 ed.). Penguin. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-02-863970-3. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Yoga Journal - Supported Headstand". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  3. ^ Iyengar, B. K. S. (1970). Light on yoga: yoga dīpikā. Schocken Books. p. 127. Retrieved 11 April 2011. ... Sirsasana the king of all asanas and the reasons are not hard to find.
  4. ^ Iyengar, Geeta (1 June 1998). Yoga: A Gem for Women. Allied Publishers. p. 187. ISBN 978-81-7023-715-0. Retrieved 11 April 2011. Sirsasana is termed the 'King of Asanas'.
  5. ^ Hoare, Sophy (1977). Yoga. Macdonald Educational. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-356-06012-5. Retrieved 11 April 2011. Sirsasana is traditionally known as the king of the Asanas. As in Sarvangasana, the upside-down position benefits the entire body : the force of gravity pulling in the opposite direction from usual has a ...
  6. ^ Ramdev, Swami (1 March 2006). Yoga: Its Philosophy & Practice. Diamond Pocket Books. p. 92. ISBN 978-81-89235-15-4. Retrieved 11 April 2011. As you may like, do Savasana or stand up straight after Sirsasana, so that the blood circulation which flowed towards the ... Benefits: This asansa is the king of all asansa. This provides pure blood to the brain, which makes the eyes, ...
  7. ^ Norberg, Ulrica; Lundberg, Andreas (8 April 2008). Hatha Yoga: The Body's Path to Balance, Focus, and Strength. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-60239-218-2. Retrieved 11 April 2011. Sirsasana is called the king of the asanas because it helps to open Sahasrara chakra, the crown chakra, and it stabilizes the pituitary gland.
  8. ^ a b c d Schumacher, John (July–August 1990). "Preparing for Inversions". Yoga Journal (93): 68–77.
  9. ^ "Shirshasana A -". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  10. ^ Sinha, S.C. (1 June 1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  11. ^ a b Summers, Kathleen. "Sirsasana: Can You Bleed From the Headstand?". Retrieved November 21, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]