Variation 1 : The exercise is practiced with
the help of the hands and arms. The whole weight of the head
and trunk is placed on the interlocked hands and the elbows.
The two elbows are interlocked fingers form the three points
or tripod on which the body is balanced. The weight on the
head is so little that it is not even felt. When the weight
is divided equally between the elbows and the locked fingers,
it is easy to balance.
Use a soft cushion or a four-folded blanket. Spread the blanket
on the floor. Sit on your knees. By interweaving the fingers,
make a fingerlock and keep it on the blanket so that the locked
hands serve as a vertex and the two elbows as the base, enabling
the forearms to balance the body.
The top of the head may be supported
from behind by the fingerlock while doing this asana.
Keep the top of your head on the blanket close to the fingerlock.
The parietal (frontal) portion of the top of the head should
be placed on the blanket and not the portion nearer to the
forehead. This will help you to keep the spine erect in this
asana. If the portion nearer to the forehead is used, the
spine will suffer a curvature in balancing the whole body.
Now the knees are brought close to the body, and the toes
are allowed to touch the ground for balancing. When the trunk
is sufficiently thrown back, you can slowly remove the toes
from the ground. Slowly raise the legs high up in the air
till the whole body becomes erect. Stand in the asana for
five seconds only and gradually increase the period to 15
minutes. By regularly practicing even five to ten minutes
of headstand, the maximum benefits can be derived.
Always breathe through the nose only and never through the
mouth. In the beginning, some persons will find it difficult
to breathe through the nose but after a few days this will
In learning the headstand in the above manner you will not
need any help. You can learn the method of balancing by repeated
attempts. Instead of a fingerlock method, you can keep the
palms of your hands on the blanket, one on each side. You
will find this easy. When you have learned to balance the
whole body, you can take the fingerlock method.
Lower the legs slowly to the floor to the original position.
Lower the legs very, very slowly and avoid jerks. After completing
the asana, stand erect for a minute or two. This will harmonize
the blood circulation.
Variation 2 : In this position, the hands
are kept separated and the head takes an equal weight. This
is designed to strengthen the muscles of the shoulders, superficial
muscles of the back, and the muscles of the arms. By stretching
the thighs and keeping the soles of the feet together, the
circulation of the lower extremities is increased. This is
also stretches the veins and strengthens the muscles of the
thighs, legs and feet.
Variation 3 : The same benefit is derived
as in variation 2. This gives an extra stretching and twisting
to muscles of the thighs and legs and squeezes the venous
blood from the tired veins.
Variation 4 : In this pose, the muscles of
the thighs and legs, which are used for walking and standing,
are given a maximum stretching.
Variation 5 : Here, the hands are folded
in front of the head as a support. In this position more pressure
is put on the head. The cervical and thoracic portions of
the vertebrae get immense pressure and the ligaments connected
with the vertebral column are supplied with more arterial