Shoulderstand / Sarvangasana

Sarvangasana is the second posture in the sequence. Sarvangasana means All Parts Pose in Sanskrit, named this way because it benefits all the parts of the body. It is an important inversion that will revitalize your whole body, giving you energy and vigor!

Benefits:

  • Increased blood flow to the heart and roots of spinal nerves
  • Massages the thyroid gland helping to regulate its function (controls metabolism and the function of all the organs in the body)
  • Natural pick-me-up
  • Releases stress held in the shoulder and neck area
  • Helps alleviate depression
  • Supports deep abdominal breathing

Contraindications:

  • Neck or upper back problems and/or pain
  • High blood pressure (if controlled practice no more than 30 seconds)
  • Women on their cycle may choose to skip this posture

Instructions:

  1. Lay flat on the back, with feet together, arms by the sides and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Inhale, Press into the floor, swiftly lift the legs and hips up and place your hands on the lower back, hands parallel to the spine, fingers pointing upwards and thumbs out around the waist. Always keep the head centered.
  3. Keep lifting the legs until they are as straight as is comfortable. If there is too much weight in the arms/elbows allow the feet to come a little more over the head until you are comfortable.
  4. Optional: To adjust yourself once stable, bend the knees towards your head, move the elbows closer together, and hands farther up the back. Straighten the legs. This will help you come deeper into the posture.
  5. Relax the feet and legs as much as possible, and breathe deeply into the abdomen.
  6. Start with 30 seconds, and hold up to 3 minutes.
  7. To come out of the posture, lower the legs over the head to a 45 degree angle, place the palms on the floor and slowly roll out. If you have trouble rolling out with control bend the knees into the chest before rolling out.
  8. Return to Savasana.

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