Subscribe to our Daily Teachings | Read our YOGALife & Publications

Hatha Yoga Tip

Mastered the head stand? Try these leg variations with the head stand. After each variation, come back to legs vertical together in the Sirshasana. Try one or two variations per session until the movement of legs in this pose feels natural.

Sirshasana invigorates, energizes and vivifies. It is a true blessing and a nectar. You will find real pleasure and exhilaration of spirit in this asana. – Swami Sivananda.

Variation 1: Legs to sides
In headstand pose, while exhaling, let gravity work with the legs, exerting its downward pressure and pulling the legs down in split leg position either side of the body. Hold up to a minute. Breathe with deep rhythmical breaths.

Variation 2: Legs to Front and Back
On exhalation, slowly take one leg forward and one leg back equally. Keep knees straight. Change legs after holding. Switch as many times as you can and hold the balance well for up to a minute. Breathe deeply and rhythmically.

Variation 3: Knees bent to sides
Exhaling, bend knees to sides and bring soles of feet together. Hold up to a minute. Keep knees equal height with each other.

Variation 4: One leg to ground
Exhaling, slowly lower one leg toward the ground as far as you can and inhale the leg up. Repeat the opposite leg. The upper leg stays vertical and the back straight.

Variation 5: Both legs to ground
Exhale and lower legs together slowly while keeping legs together. With inhalation, bring legs back up and repeat the movement.

Enjoy the added mastery in your Sirshasana pose, improving balance, coordination and focus while moving the legs.

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : “The Sivananda Companion to Yoga”. The Sivananda Yoga Centre 2000.

Other yoga tips at

The basis of body-building and spiritual growth is Brahmacharya. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Without service, merely doing only pranayama and asanas, your ego will develop. Do not enter that state of ego culture. – Swami Vishnudevananda

Quick Links

Spiritual Calendar


07 Ekadasi
11 New Moon
21 Ekadasi
25 Full Moon
31 Swamiji’s Birthday


05 Ekadasi
10 New Moon
14 Makara Sankranti
20 Ekadasi
24 Full Moon

Good character is like catching a contagious disease. Acquire it through Satsanga – the company of good people. This is the best way. – Sri Swami Sivananda


AVIDYA – nescience; ignorance of our true nature; all consciousness or knowledge, so long as it is restricted to the subject-object manifold
This world of experience is due to the force of Avidya. It is the force of Avidya that plunges us into the ocean of Samsara. It is a negative power which makes us forget our divine nature. Avidya operates through the mind, and the mind functions through the time, space and causation. Avidya is an illusory power that disintegrates the Divine into a million different fragments. Pleasure, pain, desire, Karma, attraction, repulsion, delusion, pride, lust, egoism, anger, jealousy, the three bodies, five sheaths, are all effects of Avidya. Avidya is the source of all ignorance, sin and misery. Avidya is beginningless (Anadi) but it has an end.

As soon as one gets knowledge of the Self, Avidya terminates. Brahman appears as the world on account of Avidya, just as the rope appears as snake in the dusk. If we bring a lamp, the snake disappears, but the rope alone remains. Even so, when we get knowledge of Brahman, the appearance of the world will vanish. Avidya is not negative, but is positive (Bhavarupa). It is absence of Knowledge. It is erroneous knowledge. Avidya or Ajnana which constitutes the causal body is the cause for the two bodies, gross and subtle.

It is impossible to define the nature of Avidya. It is not real, because it vanishes when knowledge of the Self dawns. It is not unreal, because we experience it unlike the horn of a hare or a barren woman’s son. It is not a non-entity as it is destroyed by Atma Jnana. It is through the force of Avidya that the ignorant Jiva has mistaken the impure mortal body for the pure immortal Self and says I am a Brahmin, I am a Pandit, I am a householder, I am beautiful, I am lean, I am a doctor, etc.

Complete glossary can be found at:

It is in the nature of man to strive for happiness, but all the happiness which he can gain by his actions is only of limited duration. The enjoyments of the senses are transient and the senses themselves are worn out by too much enjoyment. – Sri Swami Sivananda