Supported Shoulder Stand - Salamba Sarvangasana

The supported shoulderstand falls under the inverted pose category because of the fact that the individual is in an inverted posture when performing the pose.

The pose is originally known as the Salamba Sarvangasana and is considered to be a pose for intermediate to advanced students of yoga

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Steps :

  1. First, start by folding a couple of blankets into squares of dimensions 1 foot by 2 feet and place them over each other.
  2. Lie flat on the blankets with the shoulders supported while your head is on the floor. Let your arms fall to the floor and place them besides your torso and keep your knees bent. Let the heels stay in close proximity to the sitting bones while your feet are set against the floor.
  3. The next step is to pressure your arms against the ground as you raise your feet from the ground, bringing the thighs into your front torso as you simultaneously exhale.
  4. Continue to raise the lower body as you curl the pelvis and then lift the torso from the floor. This will ensure that the knees come towards the face.
  5. The next phase requires you to stretch the arms out and keep them parallel to the blankets edge to ensure that the fingers are pressed towards the ground and the thumbs are pointing towards you.
  6. Lift the hips in order to bring the torso perpendicular to the floor.
  7. Bend the elbows and place the hands on the lower back with the fingertips pointing toward the ceiling. Keep the elbows on the ground apart at about shoulder width.
  8. Once you are comfortable, you should lift the thighs and, while keeping the knees bent, maintain their position to vertical against the floor.
  9. Draw the tailbone towards the pubic bone before you straighten the legs fully and stretch them out as far as possible towards the ceiling, all the while using your hands on your back to help with the overall balance.
  10. Make sure that the shoulders, hips and feet are in a single line.

    The head and neck should also be in line with the spine. The head should not be turned at all when in this position.
  11. Maintain a space between the chin and the chest while holding the breath for about 10 to 15 minute, with the more experienced yoga students the pose could be held for some more time.

Precautions:

  • The release of the pose should be performed slowly and carefully.
  • Do not perform the pose if you are a novice in yoga.
  • Follow strictly the instructions given by your trained yoga professional.
  • Avoid this pose during pregnancy.
  • Those with injuries to the neck and shoulders should also not perform the pose

Beginner’s Tip :

  • Make use of props like yoga mat that can be places below the blanket. This will provide support and thus restrict the blanket from sliding.
  • The yoga trainer could also help you with the pose in the initial stages, till the time you are comfortable.
  • You could make use of yoga straps as also a chair that can help to support your leg once you raise it to a particular level.

Benefit to Body Part :

  • Helps tone the buttocks and the legs
  • Stretches the neck and relieves the shoulders
  • Relieves menopause symptoms

Therapeutic Applications :

  • Helps in the treatment of Asthma
  • Known to help with infertility
  • It eases symptoms of menopause

Variations:

A simple variation to the pose is doing the Single Leg Shoulder Stand (Eka Pada Sarvangasana). For this pose let your left leg be straight and perpendicular to the ground while the right leg is slowly lowered till it is parallel to the ground. Do this for the other leg as well.

Preparatory Poses :

  • Hero Pose (Virasana)
  • Plough Pose (Halasana)
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
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