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Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)

Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand pose) is an inverted yoga posture performed by stretching the legs up and balancing the entire body on the shoulders. 

It is a full-body workout that involves every part of the body. It boosts metabolism, stimulates the thyroid gland, and improves overall body functions.

Instructions

  1. Lie on your back, rest your hands, and relax your body. 
  2. Bring your legs closer to your hips, bend your elbows, and place your hands on your back.
  3. Now, raise your hips and gently lift your legs vertically up while supporting your back with your hands.
  4. Push your back forward and slowly try to bring your chest closer to your chin. 
  5. Keep your legs and back straight. 
  6. Balance the entire body on your shoulder, not on your head. Now, this is the final Sarvangasana yoga posture. 
  7. Keep taking deep and mindful breaths. 
  8. Maintain your posture for 15 to 30 seconds. You can gradually increase your time every day as long as your body feels comfortable. 
  9. To release, bend your knees, slowly bringing your back down while removing your hands, and put your legs back on the floor. 
  10. Breath slowly and relax your body.

Indications

Sarvangasana is beneficial for various health conditions such as: 

  • Back pain
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Stomach issues
  • Mental problems like depression, anxiety, etc. 

Warning: It is an advanced pose and can cause serious injuries if not practised carefully. Therefore, consult your doctor, trainer or experienced yoga practitioner before practising. 

Contraindications

Yoga practitioners and doctors recommend avoiding Sarvangasana if you have the following health conditions:

  • High blood pressure 
  • Heart disease
  • Enlarged thyroid
  • Slipped disc
  • Cervical spondylitis or other neck injuries
  • Glaucoma or other eye injuries. (1)
  • Weak internal organs like the kidney or liver. 
  • Pregnancy

Benefits of Sarvangasana

Sarvangasana is also referred to as the ‘Mother of all Asanas’ because of its various health benefits.

  • It improves the function of the shoulder, abdomen, and other muscle groups as it requires core and upper body strength to balance the entire body in the air. According to the J-AIM study, it strengthens the body and boosts metabolism. (2)
  • Inverted posture enhances the blood flow to the heart and brain, which helps in improving depression (3) and heart function. (4) It also helps Type 2 diabetes patients in managing their blood glucose levels. (5, 6)
  • The pressure created by the chin against the throat stimulates the thyroid gland, effective in treating hypothyroidism. (7)

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