Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose): Steps, benefits, and precautions

The word Sarvangasana comes from Sanskrit and can be divided into three parts: sarva meaning, all, anga meaning body part and asana meaning posture; It is transformed into the posture of all the limbs, but it is called the standing posture of the shoulder.

It is usually classified as an inversion – yoga suggests turning your body upside down, your feet up, and head down. This changes how the force of gravity affects the body internally for the duration of the posture. It encourages blood flow to the brain and has mental health benefits with physical ones.

Sarvangasana can be the gateway to more complex inversions. This is done by elevating your legs in the air and supporting your body with your shoulders, neck, and head.

A Girl doing a Sarvangasana. It is also called the shoulder stand pose.

Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose): The right way to do shoulder stand pose

Following are the steps for practising Sarvangasana:

1)- Firstly, Lie down on the mat on your back. Ensure that your body is in one line and that your feet are together.
2)- Place your arms next to your body, keeping them upright with your palms on the floor.
3)- Relax your mind and body.
4)- Now raise your feet so that they are perpendicular to the floor. If necessary, resort to your hands to move your legs straight up, until your heel is in line with your hips.
5)- Once the legs are vertical, return your hands to the floor.
6)- Slowly raise your hips and spine off the floor. You can bend your elbows and place your hands on your back for support.
7)- Slowly move your hands up, as close to your shoulders as possible.
8)- Keep your elbows in line your body, about shoulder-width apart and not spread out.
9)- Try pushing slightly to have your chest touch your chin.
10)- Keep this posture more and more comfortable or for up to 30 seconds.
11)- Now, keeping your feet straight, push them forward to keep them above your head. Now move your hands to your back and return them under the floor, palms.
12)- Slowly lower your back to the floor, followed by your hips and then your feet.

Benefits of Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)

Sarvangasana has many health benefits, including below this:

  • This asana helps to relieve mental and emotional stress.
  • This asana stimulates the thyroid gland.
  • This asana enhances the immune system.
  • Because of the inversion, this asana could help with piles (haemorroids) as it reduces pressure on the anal muscles.
  • This asana improves circulation, aids digestion and balances the nervous and reproductive systems.
  • This asana tones the legs and abdomen.

Precautions to take while doing  Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)

  • Sarvangasana should not be performed by someone who has a thyroid gland, liver, or spleen. If you are suffering then you should also avoid it.
  • If you have any problem with high blood or heart then you should avoid this asana.
  • If the blood vessels in the eyes are weak then avoid this posture.
  • Cervical spondylitis
  • Slipped disc
  • If there is a complaint of thrombosis or impure blood then you should avoid this asana.
  • It should not be done during menstruation or in the late stages of pregnancy.

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