The headstand in Yoga- and what it means to be a yogi
Known as ‘king of yoga asanas’- headstand or Sirsasana -is an inversion posture that accounts for multiple health benefits. Sirsha’ means ‘head’ and ‘asana’ means ‘posture’.
Who would’ve thought that one of the world’s greatest businessmen, Jeff Bezos-founder Amazon, would take inspiration from headstands!
He has famously said, “Running a business is equal to a headstand and entrepreneurs should keep this principle in mind when trying to lead their team. In headstands, people think that if they work hard, they should be able to master a handstand in about two weeks but in reality, it takes about six months of daily practice. Same way leaders need to “proactively communicate” and be realistic about how hard something is going to be. If they aren’t honest with their team about what it takes to achieve a goal, this makes the goal that much harder to hit.”
It should not come as a surprise that an Indian- Gopal Dangi (Udaipur, Rajasthan) holds the record for the world’s longest headstand for 3 hours and 33 minutes.
From influencers to celebrities to business persons everyone is showing off different fitness mantras online, and the headstand is one such posture that is becoming the talk of the town! Anushka Sharma posted a picture of hers doing a headstand on Instagram at the peak of her pregnancy.
Yoga guru, Mini Shashtri on the effects of headstands says, “Inverted postures assist the venous flow of blood towards the heart which engorges with blood while in headstand, thus strengthening the muscles of the heart. In Yogic parlance, the headstand powers a sluggish Apana Vayu which means that it facilitates the downward and outward flow of energy from the body. At the same time, the Agni or the digestive fire also gets powered. This helps in cleaning the intestines while releasing congested blood in the colon and thus, improving digestion.”
While on the subject of digestion, Indian QSR owner Dheeraj Gupta of Jumboking Foods is a well-known practitioner of the headstand. “You just have to allow yourself to do it,” he says.
Gupta’s advice is deeper than it seems because ‘allowing’ yourself is what takes tremendous practice. So let’s not rush into the headstand just because Bezos is doing it. Sadhguru, a yoga guru himself says, “ Yoga can improve your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being when done under supervision. Especially headstands should not be done without it, one can also cause broken artillery if your system is fully not ready for it.”
Mastering Sirsashana (headstand), just like mastering anything else, is a whole journey in itself. It requires tremendous application, focus and commitment. The process of learning how to do it and reaching the destination is transformative in itself.