Stand on your shoulders!

I like Sarvangasana / shoulderstand a lot. So much that I would even call it my favourite pose. I can hold the pose for long period as it feels very comfortable and even effortless. If teacher calls for 1 minute Chaturanga, I grin internally. But was it 1 minute Shoulderstand, no problem! Even 3 minutes, bring it on! It is actually recommended to stay in the pose for extended period to enjoy the many health benefits of this so-called Mother of Asanas.

It is one of the few yoga poses that benefits the whole body from toes to top of the head. As the feet are above the head, the stagnant blood from legs can flow to heart and therefor improve the supply of fresh blood to the whole circulatory system. It calms the brain, relieves stress, stretches shoulders and neck, improves digestion, decreases varicose veins, helps people who suffer from insomnia, reduces fatigue and is good for the eye health. Basically it has same benefits as Headstand, but is easier and safer inversion for beginners.

Shoulderstand is usually practised towards the end of the class as it is a cooling down pose. In ashtanga series it’s done after the backbends (Setu Bandhasana and Urdhva Dhanuransasa) as a counter pose. Good follow up poses are for example Halasana and Karanapidasana.

So why wouldn’t you too let the stress slip away and include a beautiful Sarvangasana in your practice next time you are on the mat!

EK