Sirsasana (Head Stand)
The ancient books have called Sirsasana the king of all asana and the reasons are not hard to find. When we are born, normally the head comes out first and then the limbs, The skull encases the brain, which controls the nervous system and the organs of sense. The brain is the seat of intelligence, knowledge, discrimination, wisdom and power. It is the seat of Brahman, the soul. A country can not prosper without a proper king or constitutional had to guide it; ;so also the human body cannot prosper without a healthy brain.
The Bhagavad-Gita Says: “Harmony (sattva), mobility (rajas), Inertia (tamas), such are the qualities, matter-born: they bind fast, O great armed on (Arjuna), the indestructible dweller in the body.” (14-5) All these qualities stem from the brain, and sometimes one quality prevails and sometimes the others. The head is the center of Sattvic qualities which control discrimination; the trunk of Rajasic qualities which control passion, emotion and actions; and the region below the diaphragm of Tamasic qualities which control sensual pleasure like the enjoyment of food and drink , and the thrills and pleasures of sex.Regular practice of Sirsasana makes healthy pure blood flow through the brain cells. This rejuvenates them so that thinking power increase and thought become clearer. The asana is a tonic for people whose brain tire quickly. It ensures a proper blood supply to the pituitary and pineal glands in the brain. Our growth, health and vitality depend on the proper functioning of these two glands. People suffering from loss of sleep, memory and vitality have recovered by the regular and correct practice of this asana and have become fountains of energy. The lungs gain the power to resist any climate and stand up to any work, which relieves one from colds, coughs, tonsillitis, halitosis (foul breath) and palpitations. It keeps the body warm. Coupled with Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) movements, it is a boon to people suffering from constipation. Regular practice of Sirsasana will show marked improvement in the haemoglobin content of the blood. Regular and precise practice of Sirsasana develops the body, disciplines the mind and widens the horizons of the spirit. One becomes balanced and self-reliant in pain and pleasure, loss and gain, shame and fame, and defeat and victory.
Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
The importance of Sarvangasana cannot be over-emphasized. It is one of the greatest boom conferred on humanity by our ancient sages. Sarvangasana is the Mother of asana. As a mother strives for harmony and happiness in the home, so this asana strives for the harmony and happiness of the human system. IT is a panacea for most common ailments. There are several endocrine organ or ductless glands in the human system, which bathe in blood, absorb the nutriments from the blood and secrete hormones for the proper functioning of a balanced and well-developed body and brain. If the glands fail to function properly, the hormones are not produced as they should be and the body starts to deteriorate. Amazingly enough many of the asana have a direct effect on the glands and help them to function properly. Sarvangasana does this for the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which are situated in the neck region, since due to the firm chinlock their blood supply is increased. Further, since the body is inverted the venous blood flows to the heart without any strain by force of gravity. Healthy blood is allowed to circulate around the neck and chest. As a result, persons suffering form breathlessness, palpitation, asthma, bronchitis and throat ailments get relief. As the head remain firm in this inverted position, and the supply of blood to it is regulated by the firm chinlock, the nerves are soothed and headaches – even chronic ones – disappear. Continued practice of this asana eradicates common colds and other nasal disturbances. Due to the soothing effect of the pose on the nerves, those suffering from hypertension, irritation, and shortness of temper, nervous breakdown and insomnia are relieved. The change in bodily gravity also affects the abdominal organs so that the bowels move freely and constipation vanishes. As a result the system is freed from toxins and one feels full of energy. The asana is recommended for urinary disorders and uterine displacement, menstrual trouble, piles and hernia. It also helps to relieve epilepsy, low vitality and anemia. It is no over statement to say that if a person regularly practices Sarvangasana he will feel new vigor and strength, and will be happy and confident. New life will flow into him (her), His (her) mind will be at peace and he will feel the joy of life. After a long illness, the practice of this asana regularly twice a day brings back lost vitality. The Sarvangasana cycle activates the abdominal organs and relieves people suffering from stomach and intestinal ulcers, severe pains in the abdomen and colitis. “Light on yoga “ BKS Iyengar
It is not advisable to start with Sirsasana and Sarvagansana when one suffers from high or low blood pressure.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
When one is exhausted, a longer stay in this pose removes fatigue and brings back the lost energy. The pose is especially good for runners who get tired after a hard race. Sprinters will develop speed and lightness in the legs. The pose relieves pain and stiffness in the heels and helps to soften calcaneal spurs. It strengthens the ankles and makes the legs shapely. The practice of this asana helps to eradicate stiffness in the region of the shoulder blades, and arthritis of the shoulder joints is relieved. The abdominal muscles are drawn towards the spine and strengthened. As the diaphragm is lifted to the chest cavity the rate of heart rate is slowed down. This is an exhilarating pose.
Those who are afraid to do Sirsasana (head stand) can conveniently practice this posture. As the trunk is lowered in the asana it is fully stretched and healthy blood is brought to this region without any strain on the heart. It is rejuvenates the brain cells and invigorates the brain by relieving fatigue.
People suffering from high blood pressure can do this pose.