The Headstand, also called shirsasana, is the king of Yogic asanas. An asana can be described as a yogic posture or the body’s position. For example, while doing a Headstand, the entire body is upside down and held in a straight line supported by the forearms. Your head’s crown rests upon the ground. Inversion makes the Headstand Yoga Pose so effective mainly because it alters gravity flow. Most of the time, gravity pulls us down while compressing our bodies. However, when we invert, this process completely reverses. Instead of being with us, gravity works to our advantage by decompressing our body and changing the flow of the lymphatic and circulatory systems.
What are the advantages of headstands?
No matter what nature or the intensity of your practice, inversions help to rejuvenate and rejuvenate your entire system. Turning your body upside down can reverse the effects of gravity and inundates your vital organs and the brain with nutrition. The pituitary and pineal glands are stimulated, which balances the hormones. Elevating the leg’s blood circulation, the venous and lymph drainage return is also enhanced as fatigue and strain are eased. Inversions also aid sleeping, induce tranquility and peace and relax the nerves. Spending some time every day upside down is one of the most beneficial ways you could do for yourself. Inversions are, in essence, an ingredient of the spirit.
The weight of gravity slowly but steadily burdens us and drains our energy. We sit, stand, or walk with our head elevated above our heart, pelvis, and legs. As time passes and the damage gets worse, so does it. Subcutaneous fat sags. Hemorrhoids and varicose veins erupt. Tired of constantly the flow of blood across its extensive circulatory system, the heart swells. According to Payne, the ancient yogis referred to gravity as “the silent enemy.” The yogi uses martial arts to perform a sleight of hand: erect oneself, and use gravity’s power to stop the destructive force of the same energy.
Our body’s structure is extremely sensitive to alterations in gravity since it is made up of more than 60 % water. From the skin out of the body, it is stuffed with cells floating in a sea filled with intercellular fluid. A vast network of vessels runs through and around each cell, constantly moving fluids via valves, pumps, and porous membranes devoted to transporting, feeding, cleaning, and washing.
Based on David Coulter, Ph.D., an anatomy professor at the University of Minnesota for 18 years, when one turns the body, the tissues of the lower extremities drain far more efficiently than when one sleeps. Congestion-prone areas are eliminated. In the year 1992, in a Yoga International piece about Headstands as well as the circulation system, Coulter stated: “If you can remain in an inverted posture for just 3 to 5 minutes, the blood will not only drain quickly to the heart, but tissue fluids will flow more efficiently into the veins and lymph channels of the lower extremities and of the abdominal and pelvic organs, facilitating a healthier exchange of nutrients and wastes between cells and capillaries.”
Sivananda says, “Sirshasana(Headstand Yoga Pose) is a blessing and a nectar. Words will fail to describe its beneficial results and effects adequately. In this Asana alone, the brain can draw plenty of Prana and blood. Memory increases admirably. Lawyers, occultists, and thinkers will highly appreciate this Asana. This leads to natural Pranayama and Samadhi by themselves. No other effort is necessary. If you watch the breath, you will notice it becoming finer and finer. At the beginning of practice, there will be a slight difficulty breathing. As you advance in practice, this vanishes entirely. You will find real pleasure and exhilaration of spirit in this Asana. “
Six Systems improved by Headstand Yoga Pose
The Headstand has a beneficial rehabilitation effect on the hormone secretion by the endocrine gland (Copeland, 1975) to allow it to endure greater tension and stress (Kuvalyananda & Vinekar, 1963). Inversions done correctly will always relax and decrease the strain and tension. In addition, the circulation of blood to the brain improves during Sirsasana. Slow cells are rejuvenated, and the brain is energized as the seat of intelligence. It also increases the pituitary and pineal glands upon which an individual’s health, growth, and vital strength depend.
It nourishes and stimulates the pituitary gland and pineal glands. Headstand offers replenished blood, bathes, and feeds the hypothalamus-pituitary and pineal glands. These glands play a significant part in the endocrine process. The endocrine system uses hormones to regulate the metabolic processes of cells. Our health, growth, and vitality depend on the good functioning of these two glands that regulate the balance of chemicals in the body. The pituitary gland’s hormones regulate sexual functions and the development of reproductive organs. They also control the role of the thyroid, adrenal, and Ovaries. In addition, the hormone increases the creation of milk by nursing mothers. Therefore, the pituitary is the master gland that has a significant part in controlling menstrual cycles and pregnancy. Inverted postures affect the function of the master gland.
Inversions strengthen the heart and stimulate the return of blood vessels. Inversions accomplish the same to the body as aerobic exercise does. According to the author Elaine N. Marieb, “The key factor in stretching the heart muscle is the quantity of blood that is returning to the heart (venous return) and expanding its ventricles”(Human Anatomy and Physiology, Fourth edition Benjamin/Cummings Science Publishing, 1998, p. 679.) Inversions utilize gravity to deliver greater blood flow to the heart. For instance, flipping yourself upside down can encourage the flow of blood (Iyengar, 1991; Werner, 2004; Raman, 2004).
Reduces strain on your heart. Your heart is normally working against gravity. Inverting your entire body to the Headstand reduces pressure upon your heart. The heart is constantly working to ensure fresh oxygenated blood can reach the brain and its sensory organs. In the event of an inversion, the pressure difference across the body reverses, and blood flows into the brain with minimal involvement by the heart (Iyengar, 1991; Werner, 2004; Raman, 2004).
Relieve fatigue and reduce the risk of the degeneration of brain tissue. The Headstand Yoga Pose provides a steady supply of oxygen-rich blood to reach your brain and your head (Sivananda, 2004). The increase in blood flow through brain cells enhances the power of your brain, its focus, clarity, memory, and sensory faculties (Iyengar, 1991, p. 193) and, in addition, reduces the risk of degeneration in brain tissues (Raman, 2004). Therefore, the brain cells are fatigued as an everyday occurrence is not a problem with the regular practice of Headstand. That is the regeneration of brain cells by fresh blood and oxygen (Raman, 2004).
The Headstand Yoga Pose is also important in promoting lymphatic drainage and circulation. As a result, the amount of fluid build-upbuild-up is reduced. As blood flow to your heart via veins, lymph depends on muscular activity and gravity to aid in its return. Therefore, lymphatic fluid is released from the ankles and legs during the Headstand. That, along with the regular practice, prevents the build-upbuild-up of fluid in the feet and legs.
The lymphatic system is an open-pressure system with one-way valves allowing lymph to flow toward the heart. The whole lymphatic system is stimulated if the person is around, strengthening your immune system.
Headstands stimulate your brain’s nervous system. The posture increases alertness in the mind and clarity. Therefore, the first feeling you experience after this posture is increased alertness, which persists throughout the day. Let the brain get fresh blood. The most crucial part of inverted postures is to fill the brain with blood for a set amount of time. That is not a thing that happens in other types of exercise. According to Dr. Raman (Raman, 2004):
“This rejuvenates the brain cells and prevents age-related cerebral atrophy. Senile changes in the brain are prevented. Moreover, as mentioned before, ischemic strokes can be completely prevented as the blood supply is enhanced without pressure.”
Relaxes the mind and can help reduce depression and stress. It is a calming, relaxing, and soothing posture. In addition, it is a cooling effect that can appear on the face during the posture.
Inversions are also beneficial for better and healthier lung tissue. If you sit or stand upright, gravity pulls your bodily fluids downwards and circulation “perfuses” or saturates the lower lungs more deeply. Therefore, lung tissue in the lower part of our body is more compact than the upper lungs. That means that the air we breathe moves naturally into the alveoli of the upper lung. If we do not take long and deep breaths, we do not increase the ratio of blood to air in the lower lung. When we turn our heads to inhale, blood reaches the well-ventilated upper lobes of the lungs, resulting in an improved exchange of oxygen to the blood and healthier lung tissues, blood flow, and oxygen consumption (Jevning and colleagues 1983).
A Headstand Yoga Pose can help the spine properly align and improve posture, encouraging good breathing and lessening muscular strain. In addition, the inversion relaxes the lungs and makes them feel rejuvenated. The vitality increases as the lungs become able to breathe during the stress of the body’s organs resting on them in the position (Raman 2004, 2004).).
Increase the heat level and improve digestion. The Headstand Yoga Pose stimulates the gastric fire and generates heat within the body. It cleanses the digestive system and helps its tone. The weight of abdominal organs on the diaphragm promotes deep breathing that gently massages internal organs. In reversing the pull of gravity on organs, specifically the intestines, it assists in detoxing them by releasing congested blood from the jejunum and the colon. Warm, fresh blood energizes the cells and can help overcome issues with the kidneys, liver, stomach, intestines, and reproductive system (Raman, 2004).
Constipation eliminated. The alteration in posture increases the peristaltic muscles and assists in elimination. Constipation can be eliminated if the fiber and water in the diet are healthy (Raman, 2004).).
In the end, yoga postures are crucial because they increase flexibility, balance, and coordination. If you are not wearing yoga clothes and are unsure how to perform the various postures, it is time to start. Many postures can be practiced in the living space or a park, beginning with the most basic poses and progressing to more advanced ones. Always do it with a partner to ensure your posture gets maximum benefit.