Sarvangasana

Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand Pose)

Sarva = All
Anga = Limb
Asana = Pose

Step by step instructions
1. Lie on your back, arms by the side of your body.

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2. Inhale, swing your legs and pelvis up towards the ceiling, raising your hips so that you come up on your shoulders.

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3. Exhale, support your back with your hands.

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4. Bring your torso to a vertical position as you move your elbows closer towards each other and walk your hands towards the upper back (thoracic spine).
5. Straighten your legs and point your toes squeezing the inner seams of your legs together, and pressing your elbows on the floor and your hands into your back.
Support your body on your shoulders and arms, never on your neck.
6. Aim to touch your chest with your chin, engaging Jalandhara Bandha (Throat Lock). Do not overstrain.
7. Gaze softly at your chest.
8. Take 30 ujjayi breaths.

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9. To come out of the pose, exhale and lower your knees to your forehead. Inhale, slowly bring your spine down, vertebra by vertebra until completely on the floor. Exhale, lower your legs to the floor.

 

 

Muscles activated
• Shoulders and arms:
Flexor muscles in the forearms, biceps and infraspinatus and teres minor contracted. Triceps and posterior deltoids stretched.

• Torso:
Pectoralis major and minor and serratus anterior stretched. Rectus abdominis, trapezius, latissimus dorsi and erector spinae contracted.

• Hips and legs:
Psoas, gluteus maximus, tensor fascia lata, gluteus medius, quadriceps, adductors, peronei and tibialis anterior contracted.

Benefits
Physcial:
• Strengthens the arms, shoulders, abdomen and back muscles.
• Tones the legs and glutes.
• Balances hormone production of the thyroid and the parathyroid glands.
• Improves blood circulation and respiratory system.
• Frees body of toxins as venous blood from the legs and abdominal organs returns to the heart.
• Calms the nervous system.
• Increases metabolism.
• Improves digestion.
• Relieves constipation.
• Builds immunity to cold and sore throat.

Spiritual:
• Stimulates the Vishuddha Chakra.

Precautions and contradictions
• Menstruation
• Diarrhea
• Slipped Disc
• Pregnancy
• High blood pressure
• Heart condition
• Neck injury
• Headache
• Glaucoma, detached retina or weak eye blood vessels.

Counter pose
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)

Namaste,
Karen Lee (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 Weekend)