““Swastika” means ‘prosperous’ in Sanskrit. This Asan brings prosperity and success to the practitioner. Hence this pose bears the name Swastikasan.
Sit on the seat. Stretch the legs. Bend the right leg at the knee and keep the heel agains the groin of the left thigh so that the sole will be lying in close touch with the thigh. Similarly bend the left leg and set it against the right groin. Insert the toes of the left leg between the right calf and thigh muscles. Now you will find the two feet between the calf and thigh muscles. This is very comfortable for meditation. Keep the hands as instructed in Padmasan.
An easy, comfortable posture for Japa and meditation is Sukhasan, the important point being the head, neck and the trunk should be in a line without any curve.
In Sanskrit “Sirsh’ means head. As you have to stand in this Asan on your head in a topsy –turvy manner, it is called Sirshasan. The practitioner gets the maximum phsical and spiritual benefits through this Asan. So this is the most important one. This is the king of all Asans
The skull has to bear the whole weight of the body in this Asan. You should use a soft cushion or a fourfolded blanket. Spread the blanket on the ground. Sit on the knees. By interweaving the fingers make a finger-lock and keep it on the carpet in such a way that the locked hands serve as a vertex and the two elbows as the base enabling the forearms to balance the body. The top of the had may be supported from behind by the finger-lock while doing this Asan.
Then keep the top of your head on the carpet close to the finger-lock. The parietal (frontal) portion of the top of the head should be placed on the carpet and not the portion nearer to the forehead. This will help you to keep the spine erect in this Asan. If the portion nearer to the forehead is used, the spine will suffer a curvature in balancing the whole body.
Now the knees are brought close to the body and the toes allowed to touch the ground for balancing. When the trunk is sufficiently thrown back you can slowly remove the toes from the ground. Slowly raise the legs high up in the air till the whole body becomes erect. Stand in the Asan for five seconds only and gradually increase the period to half on hour. In well-regulated systematic Asan exercises, even five minutes will be quite sufficient to derive the maximum benefits. Always breathe through the nose only and never through the mouth. In the beginning for a few days you will find difficulty in breathing through the nose. In a few days, this trouble will pass away.
In learning the Asan in the above manner, you will not require any help. You yourself can learn the method of balancing by repeated attempts. Instead of a finger-lock method, you can keep the palms of your hands on the ground one on each side. You will find this quite easy. When you have learnt to balance the whole body, you can take to the finger-lock method. Or you can take the help of a wall. Try to remove the legs from the wall. Or you may ask a friend to support the legs and to leave you when you have learnt how to balance yourself.
Bring the legs slowly to the ground to the original position. Lower the legs very, very slowly and avoid jerks. After completing the Asan stand erect for a minute or two. This will harmonise the circulation of blood.
In this pose the whole body is inverted. Owing to gravitation, the arch of the aorta, the common carotids, the innominate and the subclavian are flooded with rich arterial blood and in this Asan alone can the brain draw a rich supply of pure blood. The importance of the brain, the root of all nerves, can be very well understood from the Chapter “Brain and Nerves”. The 12 pairs of cranial nerves, the spinal cord, the 31 pairs of the spinal nerves and the sympathetic system get sufficient nourishment. All the defects of the nerves, eyes, nose, throat and ears are completely removed by the practice of this Asan. It is powerful nervine tonic. The whole nervous system is nourished and toned. All the venous blood that has to rise against gravity is now helped by the force of gravity and so the veins and their valves get ample rest. So this Asan will serve as a cure for varicose-veins.
This is extremely useful in keeping up Brahmacharya. The seminal energy is transmuted into Ojas Shakti. This is called a sex-sublimation. Persons suffering from wet-dreams or spermatorrhoea will derive very great benefit from this Asan. The seminal energy is converted into Ojas Shakt and flows towards the brain so that it may be stored up as a spiritual force which may be used for a contemplative purpose, Dhyana.
Sirshasan invigorates, energises and vivifies. It is a panacea (cure all) for all human ailments. It is a powerful blood purifier. It cures all the diseases of the liver, spleen, lungs and the genito –urinary system. It cures renal colic, deagness, diabetes, piles, pyhorrhoea and constipation. The digestive power will improve. This Asan is best suited for ladies also. Many uterine and ovarian diseases are cured. It is not advisable for ladies to practise this Asan during the monthly periods and pregnancy.
Sterility disappears. Memory improves admirably. Lawyers, occultists and thinkers will find it extremely useful. If you observe the breath, you will notice that it becomes finer and finer. This Asan leads to natural Pranayam and helps to awakening Kundalini Shakti that lies dormant in the Muladhara Chakra or basal Lotus.