Headstand Pose - Sirsasana

Headstand Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


Headstand Pose or Sirsasana in Sanskrit (‘Sirsa’ means ‘the head’ and ‘asana’ means pose) helps in developing immunity. In this yoga pose, the body is completely inverted and held upright supported by the forearms, while the crown of the head rests lightly on the floor. Sirsasana is nicknamed “king” of all the asanas. Headstand Pose is considered a base pose as headstand pose variations can be derived from this pose. Headstand Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start in Vajrasana (sitting on your heels).
Step 2
Lean forward and place your elbows on the floor.
Step 3
Grab opposite elbows with your hands. This is the distance you should maintain between your elbows throughout the pose.
Step 4
Bring the hands out in front of you and interlace your fingers, palms facing your body. Lift up your thumbs so they point up to the sky. This will be your support at the back of your head when you get up.
Step 5
Lift up your seat from your heels.
Step 6
Tuck in your toes, lift up your hips and straighten your legs. You are now in a variation of Dolphin pose with your hands clasped.
Step 7
Take one step closer towards your head.
Step 8
Lower your head down and let the front of the crown of your head touch the floor, in between your arms and so close to your hands that the back of your head is now supported by your palms and thumbs.
Step 9
Walk your feet as close as you can to your body so your hips stack over your head.
Step 10
Lift one leg up as high as you can (you will automatically feel which one feels more natural to you), activate your core and then also raise the second leg. Ideally you should not have to kick with your legs but rather just lift the legs up using your core strength. If you are not there yet make a slight jump with your second leg taking care so you don’t fall over.
Step 11
Press your lower arms down to the ground to release pressure in your neck. Most weight should be in your arms – not your head!
Step 12
Keep your legs together, internally rotated, and keep your abs activated for balance. Stay here for 5 breaths.
Step 13
To get out of this pose lower one leg down at a time and finish with coming down in Child’s pose for 5 breaths.

Benefits and Contraindications


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

Tones the abdominal organs

Improves digestion

Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis


Back injury


Heart condition

High blood pressure


Neck injury

Low blood pressure


Photo poses in different angles


  • If you fear falling over you can start practicing this pose against a wall or with a spotter.
  • If your elbows fall out to the sides then tighten a strap around your upper arms so they remain shoulder distance apart.
  • If you feel comfortable in this pose and your core is strong enough lift both legs up together, keeping a pike in your hips while moving upwards.


Beginners tend to take too much weight onto the neck and head when coming into and exiting this pose, a potentially harmful situation. Prepare to do this pose as described above against a wall. To come up, set your arms in place and lift your head slightly off the floor. Move into the wall-supported position with the head off the floor, then lower it lightly onto the floor. Support 90 to 95 percent of your weight on your shoulders and arms, even if it means staying for only a few seconds. Gradually, over time, take more and more weight onto your head, but proceed slowly. Similarly, when you exit this pose, first lift your head off the floor, then bring your feet down. Eventually you will be able to keep your head on the floor when going up and coming down.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Headstand Pose II
  • Half Headstand Pose On Forearms
  • Tripod Headstand Prep One Knee On Elbow One Leg Half Raised
  • One Legged Headstand Pose II
  • Bound Hands Headstand Pose B

Top Preparatory Poses

  • Child Pose
  • Half Headstand Pose On Forearms
  • Squeezing Pose

Top Follow-Up Poses

  • Child Pose
  • Shoulderstand Pose
  • Upward Standing Staff Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.