Head movements or Shirobheda

May 6th, 2010 by Anjali

Head movements are also called Shirobheda. Shira or shirasa meaning ” Head” in sanskrit. The head  movements refer to the head positions, while expressing a particular bhava. There are Nine head movements.

  1. Sama : The head kept straight
  2. Udvahitam : Head Looking upwards
  3. Adhomukham : Looking Down
  4. Alolitam: Circular Movement of the head
  5. Dhutam: Right to left movement of the head
  6. Kampitam: Up and down nod of the head
  7. Paravrittam: Brisk turning of the head to the right or left
  8. Ukshiptam: Head is turned and raised or a slanting position of the head.
  9. Parivahittam: Quick small shakes of the head.

Shloka :

Sama udvahitam adhomukha-lolitam Dhutam
kampitam cha paravrittam ukshiptam parivahitam
navdhakathitam shirasa natyashastra visharadaihi.

The following Video will demonstrate the Head movements.

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Leave A Comment

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sruthi Rhena Jun 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    This was very helpful

  • 2 sarika Feb 12, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Thank U…it’s really good and helpful in leaning bhartnatyam.

  • 3 Revathi vinod Jan 26, 2014 at 12:57 am

    thank you very much it was very help to me

  • 4 Madhvi May 7, 2015 at 4:40 am

    Hi Anjali

    You are taking dance to a whole new level by teaching it online. I was learning dance like 15 years ago and want to get back to learning more. I have been watching your videos. But it would really help if you could post the complete video of alarippu without any breaks. that way we can learn and also assess how much we have learnt. It is also important for us to remember the sequence too. Will be grateful to you for that.


  • 5 Mandira Jan 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    This helps me to know about shiro bheda

  • 6 Gauri Jan 17, 2017 at 8:56 am

    It helped and also for oddisee

  • 7 Gauri Jan 17, 2017 at 8:57 am


  • 8 NEELIMA SUSHRUT RAHUL Mar 26, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Thank you so much. This really helped me in understanding pronunciations