Ardha Salamba Sirsasana

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Ardha Salamba Sirsasana Mean?

Ardha salamba sirsasana is an intermediate supported inversion that prepares the yogi for the full version of sirsasana, or headstand. From Sanskrit, ardha means “half”; salamba means “supported”; sirsa means “head”; and asana means “posture” or “pose.”

In this asana, the forearms rest on the floor with the fingers locked and the crown of the head resting on the ground between the forearms. With the spine perpendicular to the ground, the legs are folded so that the knees point to the ground and the soles of the feet point to the sky. Another variation has the knees locked, but the legs raised only halfway.

Ardha salamba sirsasana is also known in English as half supported headstand.

Ardha Salamba Sirsasana


Yogapedia Explains Ardha Salamba Sirsasana

Ardha salamba sirsasana offers most of the same benefits as the full version of sirsasana. The sahasrara (crown) chakra – the energy center of intuition, enlightenment, higher knowledge and inspiration – is believed to be activated through practice of this pose. Opening this chakra is associated with reliability, selflessness, spirituality and stability. Ultimately, an open sahasrara chakra leads to the path of self-realization.

As an inversion, ardha salamba sirsasana also is believed to:

  • Improve focus
  • Help release the ego
  • Offer a new perspective
  • Build confidence

This posture may also be practiced with the palms pressing into the mat and the elbows at a 90-degree angle. In this version of the pose, the knees rest on the back of the upper arms.

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