Sarvangasana ~ The Shoulderstand

The Shoulderstand is said to benefit the whole body; its Sanskrit names comes from “sarva”, meaning “all parts” or “complete”, and “anga”, means “body”. Traditionally viewed as the “Queen of Postures”. When practicing the Shoulderstand, you may have the impression that the body is being bent backwards, but the Shoulderstand is actually a forward-bending exercise, with the main stretch taking place in the shoulder, neck, and upper back regions. Here are some of the benefits in doing Sarvangasana..

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

* Sarvangasana is beneficial to the whole body, the flow of blood is reversed, increasing the blood supply to the face and brain.

* The chin presses on the throat, bringing a rich blood supply. This positione strenghtens and balances the function of the thyroid, which supervises the other glands, promotes the growth and development of the body, regulates metabolism and heat production, and controls the heart rate.

* The Thyroid and parathyroid glands massaged and brought to its proper level of activitiy, and regulates the function.

*Centralized the blood supply in the spinal column and stretches the spine, helping to keep it strong and elastic.

*As most of the body is inverted, it prevents venous blood stagnating in the lower limbs and encourages circulation, helping to relieve varicose veins.

* Encourages deep abdominal breathing, massaging the heart and lung regions.

* Tones the facial skin and prevents wrinkles, firms the legs, abdomen, and arms.

MENTAL BENEFITS

* Relieves lethargy and mental sluggishness

* Help to cure insomnia and depression.

PRANIC BENEFITS

* The focus is on the psychic energy centre, Vishuddha Chakra, in the throat region.

* Stimulates pranic flow in the stomach, small intestine, urinary and gall bladders, pericardium and kidney meridians.

The Technique on HOW TO DO SARVANGASANA: :

– Lying flat on your back, bring the feet together and stretch the arms behind your head to make sure that you have enough space. Return the arms to the floor next to the hips, and place the hands flat on the floor. Chin is kept down towards the chest, shoulder are relaxed, palm facing downwards.

– Keeping the back, head, and neck on the ground, press the palms down beside the body, inhale as you raise both legs, bringing them up 90 degress and tilt them toward the chest, place the hands on the buttock, and prepare to lift the body

– In pendulum-like movement of the legs, exhale and gently raise the buttocks and the back off the floor, as the back is raised, bend the arms and use the hands to support the raised body. Breathes normally (hand position are flat on the back, with the fingers pointing in towards the spine. From time to time, readjust the body by moving the hands a little closer to the shoulders, and the elbows slightly closer to each other)

– Press the palms forward to straighten the back and the legs so that they are perpendicular to the floor. Point the toes upward (legs should be straight , but relaxed) and draw the chest toward the chin. Hold for 30-60 seconds in the beginning and gradually increase the lenght of time you hold the pose to 3 minutes. To release, Beginners should lower the feet to 45 degrees angle over the head, place the hands flat on the floor behind the back, gradually unroll the body, and relax. Intermediate students can proceed to the other asanas in the Shoulderstand cycle before relaxing.

Common faults in doing this Pose:

– Elbow s are too far apart or are enevenly positioned.

– Head and/or neck are twisted to one side.

– Hips are rotated outwards, throwing the entire body off balance.

– Body is off centre, leaning to one side

– Legs are separated

– Knees are bent

– Breath is held or erratic

– Feet and/or calves are tensed

– Hands are unevenly positioned on the back.

CAUTION: Avoid this pose if you are prone to high blood pressure, nasal problems, thyroid irregularities, or weak neck muscles, and during menstruation.

Ps : Photos will be added later.

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