Inversion 101: Headstand, Sirsasana

Headstand is one of the most invigorating and energizing poses in yoga. It is known as the “king of asanas” while shoulderstand is the “queen of asanas.” Sirsasana or the Headstand has a great anti-gravity effect that improves circulation and helps internal organs regain their efficiency. In addition, practicing headstands build full body strength and confidence.


BACK MUSCLES. Strengthening these will help you feel more stable when upside down. We need to target the muscles of the upper back that stabilizes the shoulder blades (rotator cuff muscles and serratus anterior) as they will create a stable foundation when going upside down.

UPPER ARMS. They will work together with the shoulder muscles to prevent compression in your neck. Engaging the upper arms properly will create stability.

THE FRONTS OF THE UPPER THIGHS (QUADRICEPS). Your quads will help you walk the feet closer in and bring the hips over yours shoulders. Engaging your quads is also quite important when finding that beautiful straight line in headstand.

CORE. Especially your deeper stabilizing core muscles (transverse abdominis) and straight abdominal muscles running more superficially (the rectus abdominus). Proper core engagement is crucial especially when getting into a straight line.


BACK OF THE LEGS (HAMSTRINGS). Flexibility in your hamstrings will make it easier for you to walk your feet closer in and align your hips over your shoulders while still keeping your feet on the floor.

FRONT OF THE UPPER BODY. Chest, armpits and upper arms so that you can lift the arms overhead without arching the low back.


  • Neck injury
  • Menstruation (depends on the female practitioner if headstand has always been a regular practice even with period and there is no effect on their “flow”)
  • Pregnancy
  • High/Low Blood Pressure
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Retinal problems
  • Heart problems
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