The order in which sirshasana should be done in the daily practice program depends on various factors.
If you only do asanas without pranayama and meditative techniques, then practise sirshasana at the beginning of the program. This will increase attentiveness so that you gain the most out of the other asanas. If your practice program includes pranavama and/or meditative practices then you should do sirshasana immediately after the other asanas. The reason is that the other asanas loosen up the body so that you are less distracted by physical aches and pains during pranavama and meditative practice. They also enhance awareness and wakefulness. Sirshasana then intensifies the awareness so that one gains the most out of the subsequent practices of pranayama and meditation.
Beginners should generally do the practice after other asanas when their system has been purified and balanced.
Time of practice
Sirshasana can be done at any time during the day, but it should not be done for at least three or four hours after meals and for thirty minutes after vigorous physical exercise. The ideal time to practise is early in the morning before breakfast.
Persons who should not do sirshasana
There is a wide range of people who should not attempt sirshasana. They include sufferers of the following ailments:
- High blood pressure
- Weak or malfunctioning heart
- Cerebral or coronary thrombosis
- Weak eye blood vessels
- Conjunctivitis and chronic glaucoma
- Any form of haemorrhage in the head
- Otia (inflammation of the ears)
- Chronic catarrh (sirshasana can help in the early stages, but can aggravate the condition in the later chronic stages)
- Slipped disc (if you have a slipped disc it is very difficult to raise the body to the final pose)
- Extremely impure blood, since the impurities could be directed into the brain. If you are not sure about the condition of your blood then you should seek expert advice. One sure indication of impure blood is chronic constipation and excessive spots and pimples.
- Kidney problems, since this could possibly imply that your blood is not being efficiently cleaned of waste materials.
This is only a brief list. There are many other types of ailments which preclude the practice of sirshasana. Again if you are not sure, contact a yoga school or ashram for proper guidance.
Before attempting to practise sirshasana, make sure that you are not one of the people who should not do it.