Sarvangasana – Shoulderstand

Sarva-anga-asana: Sarva-all, anga-limbs, asana-posture. The Shoulder stand affects all parts of the body. It is called the Queen of asanas much like the Headstand is called the King of asanas.

Last week we learnt how to go about doing this. You can take this in stages – in fact, you have to. Remember, each stage can take months to achieve depending on your ability and body condition.

1) You should be able to raise the two legs to a vertical position while lying on the floor. Hold and breathe. This improves strength in your abdomen and upper legs.

2) With your legs in vertical position, raise your trunk to an incline position with your hands. The trunk should assume about a 45-degree mark. In this half-shoulder stand, you get the benefits of inversion without putting too much pressure on your neck.

You can use the wall as a support in doing both (1) and (2).

3) The third stage is when you are able to bring your trunk into the vertical position so it lines up with the legs. The hands are propping up the back.

The shoulder stand has a positive effect on the area of the throat and activates the thyroids. When you achieve the posture, you automatically assume the Throat lock or the Jalandhara Bandha. The heart finds it easier to pump and the blood flows easily into the brain. The brain gets nourished better. During the day when we stand upright, the blood has to flow against the gravity and less of it reaches the brain than say in a sleeping position.

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