Shoulder Stand - Sarvangasana

The Shoulder Stand is one of the best yoga asanas or poses that you can practice to stimulate and rejuvenate your entire body. It helps to build up strength and power, as well as improve posture in the back, chest and shoulders. It strengthens the lower back in particular.

It also helps to reduce stress and tension in the shoulders and neck. Mobility and flexibility is also greatly improved in the region by way of practicing this pose.

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The Shoulder Stand also promotes and improves the functioning of the thyroid gland, improves blood circulation in the upper back, neck, shoulders and chest.

Technique:

  1. Lie flat on your back
  2. Place your hands by your sides, palms down, and begin to raise your legs
  3. Press your hands against the floor to push your legs up to a 90° angle
  4. Now place your hands on your hips, elbows on the ground
  5. Try to straighten your legs and hold them upward
  6. Next roll your palms down your back as low down as you can
  7. Try to keep your body upright in an inverted position. Your chin should be tucked into the pit of your throat
  8. Close your eyes and relax. Hold the pose for as long as possible
  9. To come out of the posture, bend your legs towards your head, then slowly release your hands, and roll back into a supine position, one vertebra at a time
  10. Avoid raising your head when lying down at the end

Practicing the Shoulder Stand may be quite challenging for those suffering from stiffness of the muscles, or problems of the lower back. It can also be quite tough for those suffering from diseases like arthritis.

The benefits of this practice however, are even more valuable to them. In such cases props can be used, modifying the pose based on your physical capacity. Make sure that you do not attempt to practice this pose on your own, if not already familiar with it, as it is quite advanced and requires the guidance of a skilled trainer.

Keep in mind however, that this asana or pose is not meant for any individual suffering from an enlarged liver, spleen or thyroid; slipped disc, heart disease, and arthritis of the neck. Women in the latter stages of pregnancy should also avoid practicing this pose.

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