Standing on one’s head is called Shirshasana. Due to its great benefits it is called ‘the king of asanas’. It is rather a difficult asana. So, it should be attempted when one has mastered other asanas. It is also essential to take due care and precautions in doing asana, because wrong posture may result in very harmful effects on the body. It is therefore recommended that it should be done under the guidance of an accomplished teacher. It is also important to remember that the beginners should never do it beyond one or two minutes. In fact, nobody should do it beyond his capacity. It is also advised that this asana should be done after doing other asanas. Moreover, Shirshasana, should always be followed by Shavasana.
This asana is of paramount importance for the health and vitality of all the parts of the body. All the body systems are strengthened by its practice-the circulatory system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the nervous system and the excretory system. They become healthy and strong. It is however of greatest benefit to the brain as it helps give nourishment to all its cells and tissues by reversing the blood supply. Premature graying of hair is stopped by its practice. The skin becomes bright and smooth and the face become radiant.
In yoga it is believed that this asana prevents aging. Yogis believe that the flow of nectar from the palate does not get burnt up in the ‘sun’ of the navel by doing this asana. It is prevented in the body and thus the aging process is reversed. Hathayoga Pradipika supports this argument. It also states that energy produces by this asana is very harmful for those who do not take adequate food.