Shoulder-Pressing Pose
March 28, 2015
Side Crow Pose
March 28, 2015

Shoulderstand

LEVEL

Anatomy

, , ,

Pose Type

Sanskrit

Sarvangasana
(sar-vahn-GAHS-anna)
sarva = all, whole
anga = limb or body

BENEFITS

  • Stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands
  • Increases circulation to the brain
  • Revitalizes the ears and eyes
  • Massages the abdominal organs
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Calms the mind
  • Soothes the nervous system

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Pregnancy
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Neck injury
  • Hernia
  • Slipped disc
  • Sciatica
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

HOW TO

  1. Lie on your back with your arms alongside your body, palms facing down.
  2. Inhale and use momentum to lift your feet toward the sky, aligning your legs, pelvis, and torso over your shoulders.
  3. Support your lower back by placing the palms on the back of your torso, fingers pointing up. Press your hands into your back and your upper arms into the ground to straighten the legs.
  4. Draw your elbows close to each other. Walk your hands down your back to straighten the spine.
  5. Tuck your chin into your sternum and lift through your toes. Bring your awareness to the neck; keep your weight on the shoulders and upper arms.
  6. Stay in the pose for several breaths and up to three minutes. Lower your feet halfway over your head. Release your arms to the floor. Keep your chin tucked into your chest and slowly roll all the way down to the floor.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Support your torso at a 45-degree angle and keep your legs vertical.
  • Place a blanket under your shoulders and your head on the ground.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Spread your fingers wide on the lower back.
  • Push the back ribs in and up.
  • Bring the elbows as close together as possible.

VARIATIONS

  • Bring the soles of the feet together and open the knees wide.
  • Lower one leg to the floor behind your head and hold. Return the leg to a vertical position, then change sides.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Turning the head while in the pose
  • Elbows too far apart