Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 19 : Nov/Dec 2007  > Columns  >  Outdoor Yoga  >  Headstand Pose (Shirhsasana)


Outdoor Yoga

By Shinji Ohmori

Headstand Pose (Shirhsasana)


Often called the King of Poses, the headstand is great for overall body circulation and energizes the nervous system. Blood returns to the upper body thereby stimulating the digestive organs as well.

Balancing on your head forces you to use a completely different set of muscles than when standing normally. It also gives you a different perspective on life in general so enjoy!

I often use this pose during the winter months to warm up the whole body.  Once you get proficient at it you will want to perform it wherever you go. Try it in public for a good reaction from your friends.

You may want have a partner hold your legs to help learn the balance. Otherwise you can rest your legs against a wall, just make sure to place your head close to the wall (about 5 to 8 cm.).

  1. Place a folded blanket on the floor or in front of a wall.
  2. Interlace your fingers and rest your forearms on the floor in a "V".
  3. Rest your head in the "cup" made by your hands.
  4. Keeping your legs bent, slowly use your stomach and back muscles to pull your waist up overhead.
  5. Now, staying balanced, slowly straighten your legs
  6. Make sure to keep weight evenly balanced over your head and forearms.
  7. Make sure to exhale completely with each deep breath.
  8. Exiting the pose should take place slowly and carefully. Bend from the knees, then waist to lower your legs to the ground. Stay in child's pose for a few minutes to relax.

Note: Pregnant women should not practice this pose.