The benefits are practically endless with this one. We at CNY Healing Arts urge you to read up on Salamba Sirsasana! Whether your practice it against a wall or alone, if you practice it regularly, you are bound to literally turn your world upside down (and reap the rewards of it). A little peace of mind: if you are in correct alignment, the center of your foot arches should align over the center of your pelvis, which should both align over the crown of your head.
Getting Into Supported Headstand Pose:
Begin by padding your head and forearms with a sticky mat or folded blanket. Come to your hands and knees with wrists underneath shoulder and knees underneath hips. Bring your elbows to the floor and keep them shoulder-width apart.
Interlace your fingers, roll your upper arms outward a bit, and actively press your inner wrists to the floor. Then, place the crown of your head on the floor. Cup the back of your head with your hands laced, keeping your arms in position.
Bring your hips upward as if your lower half were in Downward Dog. Walk your feet closer to your elbows, heels elevated, until your hips are over your shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and toward your tailbone in order to keep the torso elongated and protect your neck and head.
Now, exhale and lift both feet away from the floor at the same time (even if you need to bend your knees a bit and hop lightly off the floor). As you straighten your spine, firm your tailbone against the back of your pelvis. Rotate the thigh bones slightly inward and reach up through the balls of your feet.
Press your forearms down strongly to avoid supporting your weight with your neck and head. Keep the weight balanced evenly between on your two arms. If you came up with knees bent, straighten them now.
If you are just beginning to practice Salamba Sirsasana, stay in pose for 10 seconds. Come down exhaling, keeping your shoulder blades firm. Touch both feet to the floor at the same time. If you plan on practicing this posture often, add 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay each time you are in Supported Headstand. Once you are able to stay for 3 minutes, continue at that stay length for the next 7-15 times you practice this pose. Then, begin your steady increase until you reach a stay of 5 minutes.
Benefits of Supported Headstand Pose:
- Stimulates pituitary and pineal glands, which aid growth and the production of sex hormones
- Strengthens the spine, neck, shoulders, and arms
- Tones the legs and abdominals
- Relieves a buildup of fluid in the legs and feet
- Allows a healthy, pure blood flow to brain cells
- Stimulates the nervous system
- Aids in the treatment of headaches, anxiety, asthma, sinusitis, hay fever, depression, diabetes, insomnia, and symptoms of menopause
- Increases mental awareness and clarity
- Calms and soothes the mind
- May reverse the effects of lethargy, sleep loss, and memory loss
- Stimulates and strengthens the lungs, facilitating healthy breathing
- Improves posture and digestion
- Aids in the relief of tonsillitis, persistent coughing, common cold, bad breath, and palpitations
- Helps overcome problems of the liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines, and reproductive organs by reversing the pull of gravity