The Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand pose refers to a position that aids in balancing the entire body over the shoulders.
In Sanskrit, the name is a combination of ‘Sarva’, ‘anga’ and ‘asana’. While the word ‘Sarva’ means full, ‘anga’ refers to the ‘body’ and ‘asana’ is the word meaning ‘pose’.
Since the pose aids towards promoting mental and physical health, the asana is popularly known as the ‘queen’ of all poses.
In this post, we have discussed some major health benefits of Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose) and shows you how to do it the right way.
Sarvangasana is considered to be one of the advanced yoga poses with numerous health benefits. As you tone the entire body and follow the steps, you are sure to stay healthy. So, let’s have a look at the health benefits one after the other.
Enhances Blood Circulation
As you lift the torso along with the feet, the steps aid in increasing the blood flow. This, in turn, helps to boost the functionality of the respiration system as well as in improving the digestion process. As blood flows to the brain, eyes and nose, the functioning is improved considerably.
Improves The Function Of The Glands
The Jalandhar bandha pose is known to improve the function of the thyroid, pituitary and the parathyroid glands. This serves to be beneficial to the endocrine system and in alleviating stress. Moreover, the individual would be in a better position to enhance mental strength.
Good For The Legs
Regular practice of sarvangasana aids in making the legs stronger. If you carry out the steps carefully, then you would never have worry about varicose veins. In fact, you would also find the best solution for preventing varicose veins.
Aids To Maintain Weight
As the pose has a positive impact on the thyroid gland, the individual would be able to maintain weight. He wouldn’t have to search for any other ways that would help in maintaining his physical health.
Boosts The Immune System
As the asana is known to stimulate the thymus gland, it actually improves the functionality of the immune system. Over a period of time, the person doesn’t have to worry about disorders that may affect the body to a great extent.
Once the person gets into the pose regularly, he would be able to calm down the nervous system. This helps to fight restlessness and improve sleep quality. He or she won’t have to rely on tranquilizers but, would be able to sleep in a much better way.
Tones The Legs & Buttocks
Since the lower and the upper torso is lifted, the asana aids in toning the buttocks and the legs. Besides, balancing the entire body on the shoulders also aids in improving the posture.
Good For The Neck & Shoulders
As the individual sustains his weight, the shoulder stand pose helps in strengthening the shoulders as well as the neck. This actually helps when the person has to lift heavy weights most of the time. Strong shoulders would also help the person to perform chest and back exercises effectively.
Steps For Performing Salamba Sarvangasana
Before getting into the pose, you should make sure that the stomach and the bowels are empty. Apart from everything, the asana should be practiced as soon as you wake up in the morning.
In case you don’t have time in the morning, then the pose should be carried out at least six hours after having a meal. The digested food would then be converted into sufficient energy to do everything in the right way.
Now, let’s look at the steps you need to follow for sarvangasana.
Step 1: Initially, you need to spread a mat on the floor and lie on your back. Do ensure that you keep the legs together and the arms along sideways.
Step 2: Now, gradually lift your legs, buttocks and back with the elbows supporting the lower body. Later, you need to bear the weight on your shoulders and hold your back firmly with your hands.
Step 3: As you balance yourself, you should bring the elbows closer to each other. You should also remember to straighten the upper arms and the spine. While you are following this step, you should never attempt to support your body on your neck or head.
Step 4: Now keep your legs upright and point the toes outwards. As you hold the posture for a minute, you shouldn’t forget to take deep breathes. If you feel the strain around the neck, then you should release yourself immediately.
Step 5: When it’s time to release your body, you should first lower your knees and bring your hands closer to the floor. After some time, you need to lie down and relax.
NOTE: If you have been suffering from headaches, high blood pressure, neck injury or menstruation, then you should refrain from practicing the asana.
In case you have been perfect with every step, then it’s safe to practice the pose during the later stages of pregnancy. However, you should never start getting into the pose as soon as you have become pregnant.
Since the asana might be quite tough to perform, it’s better to practice it under the guidance of a yoga expert.
Tips For Beginners
If you are new to the asana, then you could roll the upper arms inwards. But, as you are doing so, you shouldn’t collapse all of a sudden.
Never hesitate to place a blanket in case you need to offer support to your shoulders. You can also roll up a mat and secure your elbows as you would be lifting them at a certain instance.
Preparatory And Follow-Up Poses
Before you start off, you should always consider Halasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana and Virasana as the preparatory poses. On the other hand, you should always proceed with the follow up poses once you need to relax. These poses include Urdhva Dhanurasana, Savasana, and Salamba Sirsasana.
Variations Of The Shoulder Stand Yoga Pose
There are many different ways in which you can alter the shoulder stand pose.
If you wish to attain ‘Candlestick’, then you must place one foot on the other. You then need to place the ball of your foot on the ankle, take a few breathes, and then repeat the same step with the other foot.
Once you get into the pose, you can proceed with Garudasana. As you cross the right thigh to the left hand side, you should tuck the shin towards the back end and entangle the leg with the shin. Later, you need to squeeze your legs gently, inhale air, and come back to the earlier position.
Baddha Konasana is yet another variation for the Sarvangasana. In this case, you need to spread your legs a distance apart and try to bring the soles closer together. After some time, you need to bring the lower heels towards your buttocks.
For a middle split pose, you need to hold your back firmly with the help of your hands. Thereafter, you need to spread your legs to either side and let them stay in the air for a couple of minutes.
Side split is another variation of the pose in which you need to drop one of the legs gradually. Once you are comfortable in attaining the step, you should try touching the toes to the floor. It’s completely fine to bend the leg knee so that you can easily touch the toes.
Moving ahead, you try the lotus pose only when you are comfortable in the seated position. So, in order to get into the pose, you need to cross your legs one above the other. While you are following this step, you should always hold your back and imagine yourself to squat your legs in the air. To enhance the flexibility, you need to rest both the shin on the thighs of the opposite legs.
Once you are an expert in practicing the lotus pose, you can always choose to be in the half lotus pose. In this situation, you need to keep one leg in the air while fold the other as per certain guidelines. Afterwards, you should always press the knee till the other leg is stable and is pointing in the upward direction.
Finally, yoga is certainly an incredible way to release the strain from the body. As you check out the variations mentioned above, you would realize how well the pose can revitalize the body. When you come across people who are not interested in practicing yoga, then you should always request them to refer to this blog. Every step would help them understand the potential of the asana and how beneficial it can be to their body.