When people hear the word yoga asana, one of the first images that get evoked in their mind is of Eka Pada Sirsasana. Also known as the foot behind the head pose, this yoga asana requires immense flexibility and strength.
Along with physical strength, this asana also demands mental persistence as it takes a lot of practice to master Eka Pada Sirsasana. The journey from having an inflexible body to getting your legs behind the head can be a little arduous for beginners.
However, the results of Eka Pada Sirsasana are also unmatchable. This asana engages the muscles of both the upper body and lower body. If you are interested in levelling up your yoga game, you should definitely learn how to do Eka Pada Sirsasana.
In this guide, we are going to cover the meaning of Ek Pada Sirsasana, its health benefits, a step-by-step on how to do the asana, and much more. If you are interested in doing Eka Pada Sirsasana, read this article till the end.
What Eka Pada Sirsasana Mean?
The name of this asana comes from the Sanskrit language where “Eka” means “One”, “Pada” means “Foot or leg”, and “Sirsasana” means “Headstand pose”. Adding all these words, we get the Eka Pada Sirsasana or the foot behind the head pose.
What Are the Health Benefits of Eka Pada Sirsasana?
Here is a list of some benefits that you get by practising Parivrtta Eka Pada Sirsasana regularly:
1. It Opens Up Your Hips
Eka Pada Sirasana is probably one of the most efficient yoga asanas that act as hip openers. The rotation of the posterior and deep engagement of your legs results in the opening of the hips.
2. It Increases Your Blood Flow
This asana can improve the blood flow in various parts of your body including the back region. Thanks to this improved supply of blood, your tissues, muscles, various other body parts get ample amounts of nutrition and oxygen. If you are experiencing a dip in haemoglobin levels, you can practice Eka Pada Sirasana to correct it.
3. It Improves Your Overall Health
A few other benefits of better blood circulation are the extraction of toxic materials from the body, a boost in cell growth, and the proper functioning of internal body organs. These little benefits have a cumulative effect on the overall betterment of health. People who practice this asana regularly experience that their blood pressure stays at normal levels.
4. It Strengthens your Core
While doing the Eka Pada Sirasana, you have to hold the torso in an upright position and keep maintaining it while lifting the leg. This engages your core to a deep level and strengthens its muscles.
5. It Stretches Your Back
When you practice the Parsvaika Pada Sirsasana, again and again, the push and pull of leg muscles and neck muscles stretch your back. If you stick to your workout routine, you will end up with a flexible and strong back that can prevent you from injuries.
6. It Provides Nourishment To Your Nervous System
To intensely stretch your body, you have to take deep breaths. These deep breaths while doing this yoga will nourish your brain nerves. Another way this yoga helps in nourishing your nervous system is by improving the blood flow to the brain.
7. It Releases Stiffness From The Body
While you stretch your legs in the Eka Pada Sirsasana, you lengthen your psoas, glutes, and hamstrings. If you practice this yoga regularly, you will release stiffness from the body.
How To Do Eka Pada Sirsasana for beginners?
Here is an easy step-by-step guide that will help you practice Parsvaika Pada Sirsasana the right way:
- Start this asana by getting yourself in the Dandasana or the Staff Pose.
- Stretch your legs straight, bend your left knee, place the sole of your left foot on the ground with the right knee.
- Now, lower down the left knee to the right side of the ground and open your hip.
- This movement of the hip is essential to set up the final position in the Ek Pada Sirsasana.
- Hold the left foot’s ankle, and move your right shin closer to the chest.
- Make sure that your ankle stays parallel to the ankle of the other side.
- Hold your left ankle with your right hand and gradually lift and bring your left knee closer to the shoulder.
- Fit your left ankle somewhere between your neck and the right shoulder.
- In the first few days of practising this yoga, you might have to lean forward a bit so that your leg keeps in touch with the neck.
- Keep the other leg stretched in front of your body.
- Move the left shoulder forward and the left leg backward on top of your shoulder.
- Once your left foot is fully tucked behind your neck, you can bring your hands to the chest and make the Namaste pose (also known as the prayer pose).
- Stay in this Eka Pada Sirsasana pose for about 5 to 6 deep breaths and start unrolling the pose.
- First, lower down the hands and hold the left toe with the right hand.
- Now, unfold the left leg and lower it down. Repeat the same with the other leg and get back in the position where you started Parivrtta Eka Pada Sirsasana.
What Are the Precautions And Tips for Eka Pada Sirsasana?
Here is a list of some precautions and safety points to keep in mind while practicing Eka Pada Sirsasana for beginners:
- Always do counter yoga asanas after practicing this pose to make sure that you balance the stretch of muscles.
- Join online yoga classes if you can’t get the position right.
- Do not add this yoga asana to your home workouts if you have knee, back, or hip problems.
If you want to go one step further in yoga for beginners, Eka Pada Sirasana can be a good place to start. In the beginning, you have to go slow to prevent putting strain on muscles. But once you master the yoga asana, the list of benefits you would get is also long.
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