Often regarded as the quintessence of hatha yoga, sirshasana (headstand) stimulates the sahasrara energy centre at the crown of your head to enhance clarity of vision and intuition. Be sure never to take any weight on your head and shoulders.
Sit on your heels and grasp each elbow with your opposite hand in front of you. Place your arms on the ground. Release your elbows and interlink your fingers to create a tripod shape.
Place your head on the ground with the back of your skull pressing against your clasped hands. Slowly straighten your knees, then walk your feet forward until your hips are directly aligned over your head.
Bend your knees without letting your hips drop. Lift your feet up to your buttocks, keeping your knees bent. Do not jump or use fast movements; come into the pose slowly.
Keeping your knees bent, slowly lift them toward the ceiling.
Gradually straighten your knees, lifting your feet until your body is in a straight line. Hold the position for 30 seconds at the start, gradually building up to 3 minutes. As you hold the pose, make sure that your weight is evenly balanced across both elbows, breathe deeply and take your awareness to your crown chakra. Come down slowly and rest your head on the floor for 3 minutes. Notice how calm you now feel.
Reprinted with permission of Duncan Baird Publishers, from Chakra Meditation: Discover Energy, Creativity, Focus, Love, Communication, Wisdom, and Spirit by Swami Saradananda.Copyright © 2008 Swami Saradananda.
ABOUT Swami Saradananda A senior-most student of Swami Vishnu-devananda, Swami Saradananda worked with the Sivananda Yoga Centres for almost thirty years. She served as director and main teacher of their facilities in New York, London (Putney) and Delhi. After returning from an extended period of personal practice in the Himalayas, she was the “author in residence” at the Peacemaker Community in Western Massachusetts and then served as “spiritual director” to Haus Yoga Vidya in Germany.