Shoulder stand : Introduction
Also known as: Supported Shoulderstand, Salamba Sarvangasana
Targets: Stretching shoulders and neck
Type : Inverted
Strengthen: Neck, shoulders, abdomen
Shoulder Stand-How to do Sarvangasana for beginners?
Shoulder stand is an inverted pose wherein the whole body is balanced on the shoulders.
Shoulderstand or Salamba Sarvangasana is an inverted pose in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.
It is also a part of the Padma Sadhana yoga sequence.
This asana is highly beneficial in maintaining the mental and physical health of your body.
Shoulder stand is referred as ‘Queen of asanas’.
Etymology and origins
The word Sarvangasana comes from Sanskrit language”sarv+ang+asana”.
“Sarv” means “all”
“ang” means “part of a body”
“asana” means “posture” or “seat”
Sarvangasana is a complete exercise to all parts of your body.
Thats why it is referred as “the Mother of Asanas”.
The 14th century Siva Samhita[chapter 4, verses 45-47] documented it as Viparita Karani(Legs up the wall Pose).
The 15th-century Hatha Yoga Pradipika[chapter 3, verses 78-81] and the 17th century Gheranda Samhita[chapter 3, verses33-35] and other texts completely illustrated it.
Sarvangasana is illustrated in the Manuscript of the Jogapradipika in Hindu scriptures(1830).
In 1966, B. K. S. Iyengar hailed it as “mother of asanas” in his book Light on Yoga.
- The Raised-Leg Pose(Dwi Pada Uttanpadasana): It strengthens the abdominal muscles, lower back and improves digestion.
- Legs up the wall Pose(Viparita Karani): It helps to increase blood circulation in the Nervous system and relieves stress from legs, hips etc.
Karani means ‘Goddess of All Gods’.
Steps of Shoulders stand Pose
How to do Shoulder Stand(Sarvangasana):-
- Lie down on your back on the yoga mat and join the legs together.
- While inhaling, lift Both the legs upward to make an angle of 90 degrees with your waist.
This posture is the Raised-Leg Pose(Uttanpadasana).
There will be some pressure on your abdominal muscles.
3. While exhaling, lift your waist; push your legs back over the head.
Use both hands for supporting your waist.
4. Get your legs, back, and waist in one straight line.
5. Stretch your toes towards the sky, as if you are putting a footprint on the ceiling.
Keep your eye on your toes.
6. Keep straightening the legs and spine by pressing the elbows down to the floor.
Your shoulders & upper arms should support your body weight.
Keep the legs firm.
7. Hold the position as long as you feel comfortable, keep normal breathing.
8. While exhaling, slowly get back to the initial position.
Repeat this for 3-4 times.
Follow up pose
- Fish Pose(Matsyasana) : Practice Fish Pose after Sarvangasana to counter balance the effect of the Jalandhar Bandha.
2. Cobra Pose(Bhujangasana) : Cobra pose is best for asthma treatment; strengthens spine, back, chest, blood circulation; increases quality Sperm count.
It helps in increasing height, provides flexibility to the spinal cord.
3. Wheel Pose(Chakrasana) : Wheel pose stimulates thyroid & pituitary; cures infertility, osteoporosis, asthma, back pain etc.
It provides You a lot of internal energy and strengthens to the lungs, chest & spine.
This yoga pose is little bit difficult in the beginning.
Women with heavy hips and men with big bellies should be extra cautious while doing this.
You should do this yoga pose under the guidance of an expert yoga Guru.
In the beginning You can stay in the posture for 30-60 seconds.
After sufficient practice, You can stay for 3-4 minutes in the final pose.
Variations and Modifications
- Lotus pose(Padmasana) : In lotus pose, each foot is placed on the opposite thigh.
It helps to open up hips; increases awareness & alertness; stretches ankles & knees.
It eases menstrual discomfort & sciatica.
2. Half Lotus(ardha padmasana) : In this pose, one leg is bent on the ground and the other leg is bent with the foot in lotus pose.
It strengthens the back; stretches the hips, knees & ankles.
It improves blood circulation in the pelvis, which eases menstrual discomfort for women.
3. Eagle legs(Garudasana) : It is an assymetric pose in which one leg(say the right), is crossed over the left, while the arm on the opposite side, and the palms are presses together.
It helps you to build balance and concentration.
It strengthens your calves, ankles, thighs, hips.
4. Bound Angle(Baddha Konasana) : It is a seated asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.
Also known as Butterfly pose, it is suitable as a meditation seat.
It strengthens and improves flexibility in the inner thighs, groins, and the knees.
It helps to prevent menstrual discomfort in women.
This pose helps to prepare the hips and groins for meditative seated pose.
- High blood pressure
- High Myopia
- Retinal detachment
- Hyper tension
- Heart ailments
- Respiratory disorders
Top 7 Amazing Benefits of Shoulder stand(Sarvangasana)
1. Shoulder stand is very good for Hair Growth
When your heart is above your head, more blood and Oxygen flows to your brain.
This Oxygen rich blood nourishes your Hair.
This pose is a perfect cure for Hair related issues like Hair fall, baldness etc.
2. Shoulder stand Improves Sexual Health
Shoulder stand improves functioning of Reproductive system.
It increases the quantity as well as quality of sperm count in Men.
This stimulates the reproductive system and remove impotency in men.
3. Shoulder stand for Height Increase
As we age, our vertebrates loses its integrity, sarvangasana provides elasticity and flexibility to our vertebrates.
Shoulder stand provides flexibility to neck and spinal cord. And this further helps to elongate the spine. This helps in increasing Height.
It increases flexibility in your neck and shoulders.
4. Shoulder stand improves your digestion
Any inverted yoga pose readjusts your internal organs like your intestines and colon.
This stimulate bowel movements and clears up your digestive system.
This increases the metabolic process and thus, supports digestion.
So, perfect for people struggling with constipation.
It massages the organs of the Digestive system and also stimulates all the glands.
It subsequently helps in reducing your weight
5. Shoulder stand Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Any inverted Pose that takes your head below your heart, greatly reduces stress. Shoulder stand is no exception.
It calms your parasympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, relaxes your body and mind.
It gives a substantial release of tension.
6. Shoulder stand for Eye Sight
The inversion causes oxygen rich blood to enter into the Nervous system.
A little pressure is exerted on the ciliary muscles that helps to improve the vision.
Shoulder stand is perfect for curing Eye related problems.
7. Shoulder stand for Lymphatic system
Lymphatic system is a circulatory system like the blood vessels.
Lymphatic system helps your body to get rid of metabolic wastes.
Lymphs helps in body fight off infections, inflammation etc.
By getting into shoulder stand, the reverse of gravity can allow lymph to move towards other organs, which can help flush your whole lymphatic system.
This can speed up waste removal and give your lymphatic system a much-needed refresh.
The alignment of your legs and torso when you are in the full pose is the key.
So, keep your legs straight with toes pointing towards the sky.
Keep your neck strong with a feeling of tightening the neck muscles.
Do not overstrain your neck, when in chin lock position.
Keep your head straight and eyes fixed on the tip of your toes.
Up for a Challenge?
Lets intensify this pose a little more for best results.
- Bring your legs into a wide “V” shape for more impressive results.
- You can even try doing Lotus pose, Bound Angle pose.
- Move into Karnapidasana, after coming back to the initial position.
Known as “queen of all yoga poses,” Shoulder stand or Sarvangasana is an advance posture.
With a little Sarvangasana each day, your trips to the doctor would vanish.
You will have proper Digestion, relaxation etc.
Here’s exactly how to do this inversion correctly for maximum health benefis.
Consider this your complete guide to Shoulder stand, you’ll be practicing this impressive pose in no time.
There’s nothing better than experimenting for yourself with different variants of Shoulder stand.
Keep practicing it daily to ‘become the better version of Yourself’.
Please Ask in the Comment Section directly.
We would love to hear- Which health benefits impressed you the most?
You can share- How much time You invested to master the Shoulder stand yoga Pose?