Between Sirsasana 1 and 2, neither pose is definitively better than the other.
It’s all a matter of understanding the differences and why your yoga practitioner advises you to learn both.
If you’re a beginner at the headstand pose, these two Sirsasana variations will help you perform a full headstand with ease. Ready to learn how? First, let’s hop into the main differences and key benefits of each Sirsasana pose.
Differences Between Sirsasana 1 And Sirsasana 2
You might have already tried doing a headstand Sirsasana in one or two yoga classes.
It’s common to find that some students will prefer the Sirsasana 2 as a more comfortable position for their head, arms, hands, and even neck than the Sirsasana 1.
There is a reason for this, though. And you’ll learn all about it here:
Key Points About Sirsasana 1
The Sirsasana 1 variation is a closed chain movement, where your hands are brought together, and your fingers are interlaced. In effect, this results in a closed circuit of your forearms.
Benefits of Sirsasana 1
Key Points About Sirsasana 2
The Salamba Sirsasana 2 variation, also known as Tripod headstand, is an open-chain movement, where your elbows move in and out.
Benefits of Sirsasana 2
To Make Things Clear
Both yoga poses provide amazing health benefits to your body and the nervous system overall. However, what truly differs from the other is the body part or muscle used to perform each pose.
Sirsasana 1 requires stronger shoulders, while Sirsasana 2 requires stronger upper arms.
Ultimately, if you want to perform a full headstand, you can’t simply focus on doing one Sirsasana pose. It’s important to learn both poses to bring better balance to your body.
Don’t worry, though! The next section will discuss how to perform each pose and tips on progressing gradually into a full headstand!
Safety Reminders Before Doing a Sirsasana Headstand
Sirsasana 1 and 2 are fairly advanced techniques you’ll encounter in yoga classes.
As awesome as it looks, it’s important to practice these variations safely and without causing injury to your neck and head.
That being said, here are some safety reminders before performing each yoga technique:
- If you have any neck, upper back, or head injury, we don’t advise trying to perform any of the variations mentioned here. Although both headstand variations have numerous benefits, it’s not worth the risks and strain it places moving forward. Consult your physician before performing a headstand.
- Don’t jump into the full headstand position. Instead, take gradual steps in learning how to perform each yoga headstand. It’s best to start with the supported yoga headstand position before diving into other variations.
- If it’s your first time performing a headstand, don’t simply rely on your upper arm or shoulder strength. It’s encouraged to take a few yoga classes first where a yoga instructor or teacher can guide you and teach you how to control your balance before doing it yourself. As much as we love DIY practices, a headstand is not so simple you can “wing” it.
- Practice meditation at least 5 to 15 minutes before performing a headstand. If your muscles are tense, your forearms, shoulders, upper arm, and back will not be able to support your balance fully.
- You don’t have to lift your legs right away to enter each pose. Instead, bring your knees closer to your chest simultaneously to come into a tucked position. Then, gently straighten your legs. Lifting your legs right away may cause you to lose balance, leading to injury.
- It always helps to learn the headstand position against a wall for better safety. This will also help you control your strength and reduce the full weight of a headstand position.
- Don’t focus on achieving each asana quickly. Instead, use these variations to exercise better control.
How to Perform a Sirsasana 1
Here’s how to enter the asana (posture) of Sirsasana 1:
Step 1: First, interlace your fingers and allow your palms to touch.
Step 2: Rest the crown of your head on your yoga mat and make sure your head is between your arms.
Step 3: Gently move your knees closer to your torso. Tip: Don’t try and do this quickly. Take each step slow and steady.
Step 4: Shift the body weight from your feet to your arms until your torso is vertically aligned.
Step 5: Bring one knee closer to your chest and try lifting your toes on the extended leg. If you can achieve this, repeat this for the other leg.
Pro Tip: Don’t worry about getting it right the first time. Getting to the asana (posture) of a Sirsasana 1 is an advanced core strength technique, so don’t feel bad if you need to practice a couple of times.
For many beginners, the Sirsasana 1 can be a challenging pose to perform, so perhaps this in-depth, step-by-step instructional video can help you.
How to Perform a Sirsasana 2 or Tripod Headstand
To enter the asana (posture) of Sirsasana 2:
Step 1: Start by beginning on all fours.
Step 2: Place your knees at the back of your hands, ensuring your knees make contact with the heel of your hands. This is to create a three-point of awareness.
Step 3: Place your head’s crown onto the floor or yoga mat. Your fingers should be slightly below your head in this position, and you should align your elbows with the heel of your hand.
Step 4: Tuck your toes and lift your knees.
Step 5: Bring each knee to each armpit. In this position, make sure you aren’t straining your neck either.
Step 6: Gently lift one leg up and then the other leg until your body is in a complete vertical alignment. Try to maintain this position as long as you can. After, slowly lower your feet back down, starting with your knees and controlling your descent.
For a complete video tutorial, you can check this video here.
If you suffer from high blood pressure or heart palpitations, please seek medical advice beforehand.
Performing a Sirsasana 1 and Sirsasana 2 is not about strength but rather a technique that helps you practice better control within yourself. To help you get started, try practicing several leg variations here along with the following poses:
Furthermore, don’t forget that even 5 minutes of simple breathing and meditation can greatly help perform each variation with more ease.