Due to its many benefits, Supported Shoulderstand Pose Salamba Sarvangasana is thought to be the “Queen” of yoga poses. It literally translates into all limb pose. But it is called a shoulder stand, only because the weight of your body rests on the bony part of your shoulders. This asana is a powerful one, and it is an inversion that helps you ease into the more complex inversions. This important yoga asana is one of the first ones you will practice and will continue to practice, even after you have mastered it.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Avoid practicing this asana if you have Diarrhea, Headache, High blood pressure, Menstruation, Neck injury.
How To Do The Salamba Sarvangasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- Begin lying on your back with your arms by your sides, then bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor.
- With an exhale, begin to contract your abdominal muscles and press your upper arms into the floor to lift your feet and lower back away from the floor, drawing your front thighs toward your chest.
- Bend your elbows and place your hands on your low back, then draw your elbows and shoulder blades toward one another. Spread your palms fully across your back body and continue to lift your hips until they stack directly over your shoulders and your spine is relatively perpendicular to the floor.
- Keep your elbows approximately shoulder distance apart, actively countering the tendency for them to splay out to the sides, and ensure that more weight is placed in your shoulders and upper arms than your head and neck.
- With an inhale, begin to extend your bent knees and straighten your legs. Keep your legs together and lift actively through the balls of your big toes, lengthening your tailbone toward the ceiling and extending through the inner edges of your legs.
- Relax your face, throat, and jaw. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and move your sternum toward your chin. Gaze softly towards your chest.
- Remain here anywhere from 5 to 15 breaths. To come out of the pose, bend your knees on an exhale, and gently walk your arms out from beneath you as you roll onto your back one vertebra at a time.
- Even if you don’t have neck injuries, it’s recommended to use props in this pose to create more freedom and space for your neck. To do so, fold and stack several firm blankets or towels large enough to support your shoulders, then place your mat on top to keep your upper arms in place while inverting.
- Ensure that you don’t move your head or look from side to side at all in this pose to avoid putting additional strain on your neck.
- Those new to the pose can attempt a Half Shoulderstand variation by lifting the legs only halfway as opposed to fully vertical, or try extending only one leg at a time.
Beginners’ elbows tend to slide apart and the upper arms roll inward, which sinks the torso onto the upper back, collapsing the pose (and potentially straining the neck). Before coming onto your blanket support, roll up a sticky mat and set it on the support, with its long axis parallel to the back edge (the edge opposite the shoulder edge). Then come up with your elbows lifted on and secured by the sticky mat.
Modifications & Variations
To intensify the stretch in the shoulder blades, this is what you should do. First, make sure you spread both your palms widely and place them against the back torso. Then, push in and up against the ribs on the back with the little and ring fingers. Every once in a while, remove your hands from the back, press the shoulder blades in, and place your hands back, each time closer to the head than they were before.
Benefits Of The Salamba Sarvangasana
- It helps calm the brain, cures mild depression, and relieves stress.
- It helps stimulate the prostate glands, the thyroid glands, and the abdominal organs.
- The neck and shoulders get a good stretch.
- The buttocks and legs get toned.
- Digestion is improved, and metabolism is regulated.
- This asana relieves the symptoms of menopause.
- Fatigue and insomnia are reduced.
- This asana helps cure sinusitis, asthma, and infertility.
Now that you know how to do shoulder stand, what are you know waiting for? Sometimes, one needs to stand up on their shoulders instead of their feet to get a better perspective on life. You will see yourself in the pink of health if you practice the shoulder stand regularly.