How to do Eka Pada Sirsasana (Foot Behind Head Pose) & its Benefits

“Yoga means addition – An addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.”- Amit Ray

Eka Pada Sirsasana

Are you ready to stretch your body and practice a fun pose to bring a smile on your face? We are talking about putting your leg behind your head.  This pose is called as Eka Pada Sirsasana. This is an advanced sitting yoga pose which required flexibility and strength in your leg and groin muscles.

Eka-One | Pada-Foot | Sirsa-Head | Asana-Pose

This asana is pronounced as Eka-Pada-Shirshasana, Sanskrit- एकपाद शीर्षासन. In this pose, one foot is placed behind the head. Eka Pada Sirsasana requires a great deal of patience and persistence to bring your leg behind your head.

Level of Asana: Advanced Series, Ashtanga

Stretches: Leg, Hamstrings and Hips

Target areas: Hips and Groin

Benefits of Eka Pada Sirsasana

  1. This asana helps to increase the flexibility of legs
  2. Open up your hips and stretches your back muscles
  3. It massages the side parts of abdomen and tones the sexual organs
  4. Regular and extended period of practice can be therapeutic for varicose veins
  5. Stretches the hips, hamstrings and glutes

Precautions

If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners suffering from sciatica shouldn’t practice this pose. Pregnant women should avoid this pose. Practice with caution if you are suffering from knee, hip, back or neck problems. It’s always advisable to practice this pose under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher.

Steps to do a perfect Eka Pada Sirsasana

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your legs extended in front of you in Dandasana.
  2. Bend the right knee and hold your right foot ankle with the left hand and hug the right shin in towards the chest with the help of your right hand.
  3. Ensure that the ankle and knee are in one line.
  4. Now, draw your right knee slightly out towards the right side to create room for the right shoulder to fit underneath.How to do Eka Pada Sirsasana.png
  5. Move your right leg as high as possible and pull it towards the top of your shoulder.
  6. Now, place the right foot behind the head and rest right leg over the right shoulder.
  7. Adjust your position and make sure that you are sitting straight and erect.
  8. Now, bring both the hands down and join the palms to come to the Prayer pose.
  9. Ensure that your palms are touching the chest.
  10. Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable.
  11. Now, release from the pose and come to Dandasana to relax.
  12. Repeat this pose with left leg above the shoulders.

Variations and Modifications

Beginners might find it difficult to practice this pose in the initial days.  This pose demands flexibility and strength in your legs. You need to warm up your body before you attempt this pose. Hugging the shin towards the chest helps to open the hips and hamstrings over the days. You can also practice Half Happy Baby pose to gain flexibility.

Foot over Head PoseAfter you master this pose, deepen the stretch by extending your left leg in front of your body, while your right leg is still behind the head. Inhale and while you exhale, come forward and try to touch the left knee, just like you practice Paschimottanasana.

Practice Supine Spinal Twist Pose to rejuvenate and restore your energy after practising Eka Pada Sirsasana.

Tips

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this pose. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asana so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Ensure to warm up your body mainly the hamstrings, core and hips. When you lift your leg behind your head, ensure that you are doing it carefully and gently. Otherwise, you may cause injuries to the muscles if done incorrectly or suddenly. Check that your leg is flexible enough to place it over the shoulder? Don’t force your body at any stage during the pose. Take your own time. With regular practice, you will gain enough strength and flexibility to master this pose. Listen to your body.

 

Preparatory Poses

Hugging the shin towards the chest

Pigeon Pose

Follow Up Poses

Bridge Pose

Camel Pose

Wheel Pose

Supine Spinal Twist

Eka Pada Sirsasana is a great way to open your hips. Now, you know all the benefits and how to do foot behind head Pose, then why to wait? Enjoy your Yoga practice and have an awesome day! Remember, never force your body to bring your foot behind the head. Take your own time and practice within your own limits and ability. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”- B.K.S Iyengar
Advertisements

Author: Rakesh Pradhan

Rakesh Pradhan is a Yogi, Blogger, Civil Engineer and a continuous learner. When he was 14 years old, one day his neighbourhood uncle asked him about Yoga and Meditation. He got so motivated about the amazing benefits of this beautiful Yoga that he started reading Yoga books, watching videos and practising yoga poses. Now, he is helping people to learn Yoga and keep them away from stress and lifetsyle diseases.