Sarvangasana or shoulder stand is a yoga asana in which whole body is balanced on the shoulders. It is also a part of the Padma Sadhana yoga sequence.
Sarvangasana is a combination of three words, ‘Sarv’ = all, ‘anga’ = part of a body, and ‘asana’ = pose. As the name indicates, Sarvangasana influences the functioning of all parts of your body.
Sarvangasana Steps –
- Lie on your back, placing the tops of your shoulders on the edge of two or three folded blankets. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
- Keep your neck and head off the blanket to maintain the natural curve in your cervical spine.
- Lift your hips off the blanket and clasp your hands underneath your body. Walk your shoulders one at a time more toward your spine and closer to your ears. This creates lift under your neck and shoulder blades.
- Keep your chin away from your chest, maintaining the curve of the neck.
- Lower your hips to the blanket. Bring your legs over your head and touch your feet to the floor in Halasana (Plow) pose.
- Keeping your hands clasped, draw from your hands up into your shoulders.
- Bring your hands onto your back and lift your legs upward. Rotate your upper thighs in ward and take your thighs back. Keeping your thighs back, lengthen your tailbone toward your feet.
- As you can, move your hands down your back toward our shoulder blades. Keep your elbows shoulder width apart.
- Bring the weight of your hips slightly back onto your hands.
- Flex your feet. Extend from your inner thighs up through the inner edges of your feet and spread your toes.
Sarvangasana Benefits –
Physical Benefits –
- Stretches and strengthens the neck, shoulders, and rhomboids.
- Alleviates insomnia.
- Relieves sinus pressure.
- Improves circulation.
- Helps relieve menopausal discomfort.
- Stimulates thyroid, parathyroid, and prostate function.
- Reduces varicose veins.
Mental Benefits –
- Relieves mild depression and stress.
- Calms the mind.
- Neck or disk injury (use the gentle variation).
- First trimester of pregnancy.
- High blood pressure.
Important Things –
- If you are finding this asana difficult and feeling any discomfort during the practice then wait for a few minutes and try again if still, you are having discomfort, then leave the pose and try another asana.
- If you are not able to practice this pose then do not push yourself too much, everyone has a different body type and every asana is not designed for everyone.
- Find the best suitable poses for yourself by considering your body requirements and issues.