Sirsasana Or Headstand: How To Perform And Train It

An excellent pose for the psyche

Sirsasana is an excellent ally of the mind of those who perform it. In fact, there are many benefits that positively influence the psychological sphere.

First of all, since it is a very difficult position, being able to perform it correctly can increase its own self-esteem and the awareness of being able to overcome one’s limits.

Furthermore, given that it is necessary to have excellent balance skills, the asana promotes meditation and concentration: fundamental ingredients for not falling.

Some people tend not to perform asanas in which the body is upside down for fear of hurting themselves by falling to the ground.

If you decide to train to be able to perform Sirsasana, in addition to the classic mat, it may be useful to place cushions or a padded mat near you.

Implementation guide

Sirsasana Guide to execution

  • Position yourself on your knees on the mat
  • Rest your buttocks on your calves
  • Start breathing in a controlled manner
  • Rest your forearms, forming a sort of cup with your hands
  • Rest your forehead on the mat, so that your head is contained in your hands
  • Stretch both legs
  • Slowly draw your knees towards your chest until your feet lift off the mat
  • Move your center of gravity well so that your back is straight
  • Extend your legs to a completely vertical position

At this point all the weight of the body must be distributed between the head, arms and elbows. The very first attempts will most likely be unsuccessful and you may fall.

There are several ways to enter Sirsasana and you can discover the one that best suits you:

  • For example, there are those who first stretch one leg and then the other and, from a scissors position, slowly join their legs above their head
  • Without bending your legs, therefore finding yourself in a sort of plow position, it is possible to bring them up while keeping them extended and together
  • Start with your legs straight but apart, lift them without bending your knees, and then bring them together above your head

Depending on your concentration and the number of times you try Sirsasana, the time you can stay in balance will increase significantly.

Simplified variant

Sirsasana Simplified variant

All those who are not familiar with inversions and who think they don’t have enough strength in their arms can try a variation that can be done by positioning themselves close to a wall.

A wall can in fact be an excellent support base for managing balance and reducing the strength needed to perform the steps in which it is necessary to lift knees and legs. Resting your feet on a vertical wall can also be an excellent way to improve your balance skills and overcome the fear of falling.

Instead of the wall, a friend or your yoga teacher can also be of great help. In fact, they will be able to position themselves close to you during the execution and support the weight of your body by holding your ankles or feet. If you happen to lose your balance, the person helping you will be able to intervene promptly to reduce the negative effects of the fall to the ground.

Frequent errors

Very often, even yogis with more experience under their belts fail in their attempts to perform Sirsasana correctly. This is due to several factors:

  • Lack of concentration: rushing or stress can contribute in a negative way, reducing all the ability to stay in balance and thus increasing the risk of falls and injuries
  • Poorly coordinated movements: when you have to lift your legs from the mat, remember that you don’t have to kick upwards but rather you have to perform a controlled movement in which every single part of the body contributes to the final flip
  • The weight is poorly distributed: being an asana in which staying in balance is of vital importance, distributing the weight correctly immediately is essential

When performing Sirsasana and all other positions in which inversions are involved, it is strongly advised against eating before training.

Remaining upside down while digestion is in progress can lead to a significant slowdown of the same as well as possible attacks of vomiting and severe dizziness.


Sirsasana is an advanced level yoga pose and therefore intended to be performed only by yogis who have a lot of experience. To be able to perform the asana correctly and completely it is necessary to be very strong physically as well as skilled in managing balance, meditation and breathing.

Like all poses in which the body is turned upside down, you can notice many benefits related to blood circulation and the supply of oxygen to the brain. Even from a physical point of view there are notable positive aspects linked to the execution of Sirsasana and in particular with regard to muscle toning.

Anyone with back and neck problems should avoid doing headstands as they could run the risk of increasing pain related to the pathologies they suffer from.

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