sarvangasana, shoulderstand

posted in: asana, yoga | 3

Since I began a discussion of inversions with the benefits of a modified shoulderstand, it might be beneficial to continue with a look at the full pose, sarvangasana. Yoga is an excellent repository of information regarding the correct method for attaining shoulderstand.

Even if you are an experienced shoulderstander, I recommend you take another look at the pose for tips that perhaps were missed when you first learned the pose.

*Please remember to seek medical advice BEFORE inverting, especially because shoulderstand is contraindicated for menstruation, glaucoma, displaced retina, uncontrolled high blood pressure, certain neck or back issues, as well as other conditions.

*ALWAYS learn the pose from a qualified teacher before attempting it on your own.

*Come out of the pose if it doesn’t feel right for you on that particular day.

*YOU are the only one who knows how your body is feeling on any given day.

* Remember to be patient and begin with short stay in sarvangasana, increase your timing gradually, say 15 seconds more each subsequent shoulderstand you attempt.

*Ringing in the ears, a sense of fullness or pressure in the head, or quickness of breath are signs that you should come down. Please heed them.

*Spend some time transitioning out of the pose. Traditionally, FISH pose is practiced, but you can try a supported fish by sliding your head and shoulders off of the support, and resting your hips elevated on the blankets. Knees can be bent or straightened. Spend at least half the time you were upside-down, in the transition phase to allow the back and mind to settle.

Even early in your practice of sarvangasana, you may begin to reap some of the many benefits of the “Queen” of Yoga. As you grow proficient in the pose, the benefits continue to accrue and deepen.

For those of you who are more experienced with shoulderstand, you may benefit from studying online videos of BKS Iyengar teaching the Queen of all asana.

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3 Responses

  1. Nice one Caroline. I actually love shoulder stand…

    Svasti’s last blog post..Meaningless meaning

  2. I sometimes get the feeling that this position is a bad idea for me, largely because I tend to lose balance quickly while in it. Still, I’ve heard a lot of people say it is both incredibly relaxing and a very good position to be in.

  3. I love shoulder stand now that Carolyn has taught me the chair version. I’ts scary at first but then relaxing, certainly not as flowing or beautiful as the floor version but at least I can do the pose with the help of a chair..

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