Dwi Pada (Dwi = two or both; pada = leg or foot) means of both feet. In Eka Pada Sirshasana one leg is placed behind the back of the neck. In Dwi Pada Sirshasana both legs are so placed, the hands are folded in front of the chest and the body is balanced on a small section of the seat near the tail-bone. This is difficult and one is apt to fall backwards. The pose is very similar to Yoganidrasana, but here the body is vertical, whereas in Yoganidrasana the back rests on the floor.
- Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front.
- Bend both knees and bring the feet near the trunk.
- Exhale, catch the right ankle with both hands, pull the right thigh up and back, bend the trunk a little forward and place the right leg on the back of the neck as in Eka Pada Sirshasana. The back of the right thigh will then touch the back of the right shoulder. Release the hands from the ankle and take a few breaths.
- Exhale, catch the left ankle with the left hand, pull the left thigh up and back and place the left leg over the right one in the same manner as described above. Release the hand from the left ankle, but keep the feet locked at the ankles. Place the hands on the floor by the side of the hips and balance upright on the portion of the seat near the tailbone. This requires practice. Try to maintain normal breathing.
- Lift the hands off the floor, fold them in front of the chest and stay balanced in the vertical position for a few seconds or as long as you can from 10 to 30 seconds. This is the final position.
- After holding this posture, place the palms on the floor by the side of the hips, exhale, straighten the arms and pull the body up by taking the weight on the hands. Do not release the ankle lock. Hold the pose from 1 0 to 20 seconds to your capacity.
- After staying in this position for a few seconds, bend the legs at the knees, lower the body to the floor, release the legs from the arms, stretch them straight in front and rest for a few seconds.
- Repeat the movements for the same length of time, this time first placing the left leg on the back of the neck and then the right leg on the top of the left one. Finally relax on the floor.
Effects of Dwi Pada Sirshasana
By the practice Dwi Pada Sirshasana the neck and the back grow stronger while the thighs and the hamstring muscles are stretched fully. The abdominal muscles are contracted and the digestive power increases. Until one has practised the posture one does not realise the weight and pressure of the leg which rests on the neck.