Yoga is a time-tested method of exercising body and mind to stay fit and healthy. The knowledge of how to perform yoga asanas correctly so that the practitioner derives the intended benefits has been passed down generations through many different schools of yoga and yoga teachers.
Shirsasana or headstand is one yoga pose that holds a special place among all yoga asanas because of its numerous and holistic benefits. And this led to the renowned yoga guru, B.K.S. Iyengar in his book ‘Light On Yoga’ to refer to shirsasana as the ‘king of yoga postures’.
We have listed here the key benefits of practising this yoga posture that will also help you to understand just why shirsasana has earned this nickname.
Standing on your head in a straight posture requires you to pressurise your forearms and support your whole inverted body weight with your arms, shoulders and back muscles so that you keep the pressure off your head and neck. Hence shirsanana helps you build muscle strength in all these areas.
If you find yourself easily distracted and often struggling to remember things then shirsasana is a wonderful way to improve your focus and memory power. The downward flow of blood towards the brain is helpful in stilling a restless mind and enhancing mental faculties, making your brain sharper and more focussed.
To kick up and get into shirsasana, maintain your balance and to stay in the pose you will need to work your core muscles. Activating your core improves upper body strength and builds muscle endurance. It also helps in improving overall body posture.
Reversing the effects of gravity by doing a headstand promotes better circulation of oxygen rich blood in all parts of the body, regulates pressure and improves performance of our vital organs.
Improper functioning of the pancreas commonly leads to diabetes. Secretion of insulin by the pancreas enables sugar to be metabolised in the blood stream. Through increased blood flow shirsasana improves the working of the pancreas, thereby regulating metabolisation of sugar and helping prevent the occurrence of diabetes.
When you are standing on your head the blood circulation through the body improves, thus helping to relax the muscles, release knots and this in turn has a calming effect on the body and mind, relieving stress and anxiety.
When you do an inversion, it effectively stimulates the lymphatic system of nodes and fluids that is responsible for flushing out waste produced in the body. That is how shirsasana helps in cleansing our system of toxins in a completely safe and natural way.
Because shirsasana allows nutrient-rich blood flow to the head, it promotes scalp health, growth of hair follicles and helps combat scalp related problems such as hair excessive fall and hair loss.
Performing shirsasana clears the digestive system by enhancing blood flow to the digestive organs, letting out trapped gases and thereby aiding in better digestion for an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Standing on your head means that there will be increased blood flow to the head and this oxygen-rich blood will reach the eyes, resulting in healthy vision.
If you can’t wait to try out this miracle pose and experience its many benefits, here is a word of caution. Shirsasana is not an easy pose to master and your body needs to be prepared to attempt it. If you are not practising yoga regularly and have not done an inversion before, you should not try doing a headstand unsupervised on your own. Perform shirsasana only under a certified yoga teacher’s expert guidance so that you attain the correct posture, gain the benefits and avoid any injury in the process.
While you make efforts for your good health by exercising and getting fit through practise of yoga asanas such as shirsasana, do not neglect the importance of having health insurance. It will safeguard your finances in the event of a medical emergency. Compare policies and insurers online and go in for a health insurance policy that will give you maximum benefits like cashless hospitalisation cover at network hospitals, 24x7 call assistance and lifetime renewal. Check that you buy a health insurance cover that also includes AYUSH treatments.
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