31-12-2014 Sheershasan


The Sheershasan or headstand is the most popular of all yogic postures. When most people think of yoga, the image that their mind conjures is a supple human figure standing on its head. Because of the various benefit one may derive from it, the ancient yogis call it the ‘Emperor’ of all hath yoga postures. It is essential to complement the Sheershasana with the shoulder-stand or Sarwaangasan. While doing the Sheershasana, the maintenance of correct posture is as important as the manner in which one is supposed to perform an ideally smooth transition from a normal relaxed state into the Sheershasan itself. The Yoga Tattva Upanishad states that one who performs this Asana correctly ends up conquering kaala (time).


Procedure
Keep a folded piece of cloth on the ground before yourself, and sit in the Kurmasana.
Then clasp your fingers. And keep your hands on your head, leaving a space of two-fingers from the forehead.
Now slowly bend forward with the upper part of your back, placing the space between the forehead and hands on the cloth.
Next, keeping the head and toes in place, raise the rest of your body, forming a sort of triangular structure.
Keeping the upper body in the same position, bend your legs such that the knees touch the chin and the thighs are in a straight line with the chest. Slowly raising the knees and feet, keep the ankles touching the buttocks.
The abovementioned position is the halfway stage of Sheershasan, and beginners are advised to practice it until such a time when their neck stays straight and still.
When this stage is reached, the knees, thighs, calves, ankles and feet should be raised simultaneously. A straight line should be formed from the head to the knees. The calves, ankles and feet should remain bent.
Then, the ankles should be raised slowly and the legs are to be straightened till an angle of magnitude between 60 to 90 degrees is formed as the knees are not completely straightened.
Then hold.
Practice this position for a few days; till the body can be balanced properly on the head, Practitioners who have reached this stage tend to attempt the complete asana. This is hardly advisable as one may fall and that may result in damage to the head, neck, spine and other internal organs.
Once the last stage is completed properly .The next step is to gradually raise the rest of the body upwards. The eyes should be half closed, and the breath should be normal.
Remain in this position for about 30 seconds. Then gradually bring your thighs, knees and legs down till your toes touch the floor and you are in an arch position as explained in Step 4. Relax and bring yourself to the position of Step 1


Benefits & Effects
Brightens the psychic faculties and awakens the Kundalini Shakti.
A powerful blood purifier and nerve tonic,
Prevents wrinkles and graying of hair
Clean blood rushes to the pituitary gland, head, eyes, ears, nose, face, tonsils, adenoids, thyroid and parathyroid glands, lungs etc. When one stands back after the asana, the blood rushes to one’s feet.
While in the position of Sheershasan, the heart doesn’t have to do any extra effort.
Appetite and digestion improve.
Memory undergoes improvement.
Inertia, short-/long-sightedness, constipation and insomnia are cured.

Cautions
Headstand should always be complemented with other postures like the Sarwaangasan.
People suffering from high blood pressure, heart problems, glaucoma, excess weight, neck pain, spinal injury and hernia should not practice head stand.
Pregnant or menstruating women should steer clear of Sheershasan.

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