Salamba Sirsasana

Definition - What does Salamba Sirsasana mean?

Salamba sirsasana is a variation of sirsasana (the traditional headstand). It is an inversion that displays strength, control and beauty. Headstands are often considered the “royalty” of asanas.

To enter this asana, the practitioner begins in ardha pincha mayurasana (dolphin pose). The crown of the head rests on the mat between the arms and the knees move closer to the torso. The body's weight is shifted from the feet to the head and arms as the torso is aligned vertically. The legs are raised into the air one at a time and are extended fully if the practitioner's stability and core strength allow.

The name for this asana comes from the Sanskrit salamba, meaning "with support," sirsa, meaning "head," and asana, meaning "posture." Salamba sirsasana is known as supported headstand in English.

Yogapedia explains Salamba Sirsasana

Salamba sirsasana is a building block toward reaching the fullest expression of the inversion, sirsasana. This supported inversion returns blood to the heart and the brain, which refreshes the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems and has energizing effects for the whole body. This asana can relieve headaches and assist with managing asthma.

There are several mental benefits of salamba sirsasana. Not only does it offer mental clarity and renewed energy, it also helps increase memory and concentration over time.

In addition, those who engage in a spiritual yoga practice may use this asana to redirect sexual energies to a higher spiritual usage, which is thought to increase wellness and promote a positive aura. This higher energy is called ojas, and is said to assist in heightening other spiritual yogic practices.

Inversions like salamba sirsasana help open the ajna, or third eye, chakra. The reverse position of the body allows energy flow to the third eye, which governs psychic ability, intuition and spirituality.

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