‘Sheersha’ means a head. This asana is the head-stand pose. This asana is called the king of asanas. It is also known as ‘Kapaliasana’, ‘Vrukshasana’ and ‘Viparitakarani’. Four stages in figures (preparation) have been given below for the better guidanceto an aspirant to practisethis asana with ease.
Technique : The first stage : Spread a blanket four-fold or cloth on the floor and kneel on it. Interlockthe fingers of the hands and put them on the floor.
The second stage : Now place the top of the head on the clasped hands between the elbows. Raise the legs slowly. In the beginning, keep the legs raised for five to fifteen seconds. Increase fifteen seconds every week. Later, practise this asana for half an hour.
Practise keeping the legs raised as shown in the figure. Do
the exercise patiently with caution. Keep the heels of the legs upwards in the direction of the sky. Breathe in the normal way. Then slowly lower the legs.
Sheershasana should be practised only on an empty stomach. If time permits, perform Sheershasana twice a day,
morning and evening. Practise it very slowly without jerks. While standing on the head, breathe slowly. Breathe through the nose and never through the mouth. A beginner should take the help of someone to keep the legs steady and straight or take the support of a wall I for the practice of this asana. Sheershasana should not be practised for longer time in summer. In winter, one can spare as much time as possible for the practice of this asana. It matters little if an aspirant keeps his eyes open or closed while practising this asana. Butif the duration for the practice of this asana is long, it is better to keep the eyes closed. This will enable one to meditate. After the completion of this asana, relax for five minutes. One should necessarily take a cup of milk or light snacks after
taking complete rest.
Note : Sheershasana should invariably be followed by
Shavasana for rest.
(1) This asana helps an aspirant to observe celibacy. It preserves energy and gives vitality. It adds to his vigour.
(2) It prevents nocturnal discharges. Hence the power of semen is transformed into the power of light (Ojas).
(3) As this asana reverses the normal effects of gravity, it encourages an abundant influx of arterial blood to the brain.
(4) It adds to the mental power, improves memory and
awakens Kundalini Shakti.
(5) This asana is a panacea (cure-all) for all diseases. It stimulates digestive juices and kindles gastric fire. Also, it cures the diseases of the eyes, the nose, the head and the throat. It also cures diseases like diabetes and asthma.
(6) Yoga Tatva Upanishad says, “He who practises the headstand (Sheershasana) for three hours every day conquers time.” Sheershasana, indeed, is a nectar.
* Caution : On reading about the benefits acquired by the practice of Sheershasana, one should not be too zealous to practise it beyond one’s capacity. Headstand asanas should not be done by those who have ear or throat infections,
insomnia or weak eyes.