Sanskrit Name: Salamba Sirsasana (sah-LOM-bah shear-SHAHS-anna)
Name in English: Headstand
Kneel on the floor. Lace your fingers together and set the forearms on the floor, elbows at shoulder width. Set the crown of your head on the floor. Open hands and place the back of the head into the open palms.
Inhale and lift your knees off the floor. Carefully walk your feet closer to your elbows, heels elevated.Exhale and lift your feet away from the floor. Take both feet up at the same time, even if it means bending your knees and hopping lightly off the floor. Raise your legs perpendicular to the floor.
Keep the weight evenly balanced on the two forearms by pressing your forearms into the floor for stability. As a beginning practitioner stay for 10 seconds. Gradually add 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay every day or so until you can comfortably hold the pose for 3 minutes and then work your way up to 5 minutes.
Benefits: Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands. Strengthens the arms, legs, and spine. Strengthens the lungs. Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis.
Contraindications: Back injury, headache, heart condition, high blood pressure, menstruation, neck injury, low blood pressure: Don't start practice with this pose, pregnant women should not perform this pose.