Yoga Pose Breakdown: Sirsasana II - Tripod Headstand

Sanskrit Name: Sirsasana (shear-SHAHS-anna) 
Sirsa = Head
Asana = Pose

Get Started: 

  • Begin in a wide-legged forward fold or a table top position
  • From a wide-legged forward fold, create a tripod or triangle with your body. Release your hands shoulder-width apart in line with your feet and draw your head to the mat about half a foot in front of your hands
  • From a table top position with your hands shoulder-width distance apart, slowly take your head to the floor about six inches in front of your hands and lift your hips so your torso is straight and vertical
  • From either initial starting position, squeeze your triceps toward one another, as if you were in Chaturanga
  • Keep squeezing your elbows toward another and draw your shoulders down your back
  • Engage your belly and keep squeezing your arms together
  • Squeeze your knees in, to rest on your arms and slowly create a small ball with your body before lifting your feet up OR slowly draw your legs out to either side of the room and slowly lift them up to the sky
  • Raise your knees or legs perpendicular to the floor and firm the tailbone into the pelvis
  • Keep the body engaged and slowly straighten your knees 
  • Press through the four corners of the feet as if you were to stand on the ceiling
  • To come out, engage your core and fire up your legs. Come down slowly

Related: Yoga Pose Breakdown: Salamba Sirasasana - Supported Headstand

Benefits: Tripod Headstand strengthens the arms, legs, spine, and lungs while toning the abdominal organs and shoulders. It stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands, and it also improves digestion. It also helps relieve the symptoms of menopause. It calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. It is considered therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis.

Contradictions: You may want to avoid this pose if you have a back injury, headache, heart condition, high blood pressure or a neck injury. If you are menstruating, you may also want to skip this pose. If you have low blood pressure, do not begin practice with this pose. If you are pregnant and already have a headstand practice, you can continue practicing this pose. Do not begin practicing this pose on your own without an experienced teacher if you are new to the practice. 

Know Your Asana: Once you get this pose down, flow from Tripod Headstand to Crow. Check it out.

Top Image Cred: Aditya Yoga School
Bottom Image Cred: Yoga Journal/Kathryn Budig