Shoulder Stand, also known as Sarvangasana, is a yoga pose that is considered an intermediate to advanced level pose. Like headstand, it is an inversion pose and it brings many benefits for the body and mind.
To perform Shoulder Stand:
- Begin by lying on your back on a mat, with your legs extended out in front of you.
- Bring your hands to your lower back, and press your palms down into the mat to lift your legs up towards the ceiling.
- Slowly bring your legs up over your head, until your feet are pointing towards the ceiling and your shoulders and upper back are resting on the mat.
- Keep your arms close to your body and use your hands to support your lower back.
- Hold this position for several deep breaths, focusing on your balance and breathing. To come out of the pose, slowly lower your legs back down to the mat.
The shoulder stand is a great pose for improving the flexibility of the spine, as well as strengthening the shoulders, arms and core. It also increases blood flow to the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which can help balance the metabolism.
Like headstand, it is important to practice Shoulder Stand under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor and to be mindful of any medical conditions or injuries that might contraindicate this pose. It’s also recommended to practice the pose with support of a wall or a chair until you are comfortable enough to perform it without. Also, it’s important to listen to your body and not to push yourself too far in this pose. If you experience any discomfort or pain, come out of the pose immediately.
Shoulder Stand is a challenging yoga pose that requires a great deal of strength and balance. It is an inversion pose, similar to headstand, meaning that the head is lower than the heart, which brings similar benefits as headstand including:
- Increased blood flow to the head and brain
- Improved digestion and metabolism
- Increased energy and concentration
- Improved balance and coordination
- Strengthening of the shoulders, arms, and core muscles
It’s important to note that the Shoulder Stand should be practiced on an empty stomach and after warming up the body with some other poses. It’s also recommended to practice the pose with support of a wall or a chair until you are comfortable enough to perform it without.
It’s also important to use a blanket or mat to cushion the head and to protect the neck from any strain.
In addition to the physical benefits, Shoulder Stand also has a calming effect on the mind. The inversion of the pose can help to release tension in the neck and shoulders, and the position of the head can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
It’s important to note that certain medical conditions and certain medications may contraindicate practicing Shoulder Stand. It’s always a good idea to check with a medical professional before attempting this or any other yoga pose.
In general, Shoulder stand is a great pose for improving overall health and well-being, but it’s important to practice it with caution and under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor. It’s also important to listen to your body and not to push yourself too far in this pose. If you experience any discomfort or pain, come out of the pose immediately.
Props can be used to help make the Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) more comfortable and accessible for practitioners of all levels. Some common props that can be used for this pose include:
- Blankets: Placing a folded blanket or two under the shoulders and head can provide extra support and cushioning for the neck and head.
- Blocks: Placing a block or two under the lower back can help to lift the hips higher and make it easier to maintain the proper alignment of the pose.
- Straps: A yoga strap can be used to help keep the legs together and to make it easier to maintain the proper alignment of the pose.
- Wall: Practicing the Shoulder Stand with the support of a wall can help to provide extra stability and balance, making it easier to hold the pose for longer periods of time.
It’s important to note that Shoulder Stand is an advanced pose, and it’s not recommended to practice it without proper guidance and preparation. It’s always a good idea to start with the support of a wall or chair and to use props as needed to make the pose comfortable and safe.
It’s also important to listen to your body and not to push yourself too far in this pose. If you experience any discomfort or pain, come out of the pose immediately.