Understanding Padma Sarvangasana or the Lotus in Shoulder Stand!

Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand is an advanced inversion pose where the legs are brought into Padmasana or The Lotus pose when the whole body is in Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand.

Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose is a combination of both Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand and Padmasana or The Lotus Pose. And when practiced appropriately, gives the benefits of both asanas.

The name Padma Sarvangasana is derived from Sanskrit like other Yogasanas where "Padma" means "Lotus", "Sarvanga" means "Shoulder" and "Asana" means "Pose" or "Posture."

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It is also called The Lotus in Shoulder Stand because of the shape body assumes when in the final position, which is a combination of both the asanas mentioned above.

Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand practice is not very easy. It needs mastery of both Padmasana and Sarvangasana and thus should not be practiced by beginners. However, after mastering both the asanas mentioned above one can get into Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand with consistent efforts.

Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand strengthens all the core muscles of the body and stretches the leg muscles as well. All the body parts are benefited by the practice of Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand.

Technique of Practicing Padma Sarvangasana or the Lotus in Shoulderstand Pose

To practice Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand, one must get into Sarvangasana first.

Steps to Do Sarvangasana or the Shoulder Stand Pose

  • To practice Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand, lie on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Raise the legs to an angle of 90 degrees to get into Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Press the floor with your palms, lift the torso and bring the legs forward. Make sure you keep them vertical to the ground while getting into Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Bend the hands, hold the waist with the palms, balancing and raise the legs to an angle of 90 degrees to the floor.
  • Make sure your entire body and legs should be in a straight line and stand vertically to the floor.
  • In the final Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand Pose, the whole weight of the body should be resting on both the shoulder blade and adjust if you feel that weight is being held by only one shoulder or if it is not straight.
  • Rest the elbow on the floor with palms supporting the body while in Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Maintain the pose a few breaths or for as long as you can in Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Your eyes should see the toe nail and your legs should not move.
  • Lower the legs toe and back. Take the hands from the back and place it on the floor. Briskly bring the back to the floor, the legs and lie down.
  • After finishing two rounds do Shavasana or The Corpse Pose.

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Steps to do Padma Sarvangasana or the Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose

  • To get into Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose get into Sarvangasana on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • While staying in the pose, fold your right leg from the knee and bring your right foot to rest on top of your left thigh to get into Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Stay in this pose for a few breaths. This is called Ardha Padma Sarvangasana or The Half Lotus in Shoulder Stand.
  • Now, fold your left leg from the knee and bring the left foot to rest on your right thigh to get into full Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Please note that this position is extremely difficult to achieve, as to get in lotus pose while the legs are raised upwards in the air is extremely tough so, please practice this pose with caution as you might lose balance while getting into Padma Sarvangasana and this might injure your back or legs.
  • Now bring your folded legs in front of your head and this is the final Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • While staying in Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose, the chin is pressed firmly to the sternum, forming Jalandhar Bandha.
  • And, the hip joints should be angled at 90 degrees.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds or for as long as you can to derive maximum benefits from Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Lie down on your back and relax in the Corpse Pose or Shavasana.
  • Catch your breath and change the legs to practice Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose again.
  • You can practice three to four rounds of this pose.

Breathing Pattern to Be Followed While Practicing Padma Sarvangasana OR THE Lotus in Shoulderstand Pose

  • Inhale deeply while getting into Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Exhale once you get into Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Maintain continuous deep breathing while staying in Sarvangasana or The Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Inhale deeply while stretching your legs straight and bringing your torso up in such a way that the shoulder blades support the weight of the body in Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Exhale after assuming the final Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • Maintain a constant breath while holding The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose. Keep inhaling and exhaling deeply while holding the pose.
  • Exhale deeply once you release Padma Sarvangasana.

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Preparatory and Follow Up Asanas to Practice With Padma Sarvangasana or the Lotus in Shoulderstand Pose

  • Preparatory Poses: The various Preparatory poses to be practiced before Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose is :
  1. Sarvangasana or the Shoulder Stand.
  2. Padmasana or the Lotus Pose.
  3. Viparita Karni or Legs up the wall pose.
  4. Marjariasana or the Cat Pose or Cat Stretch.
  5. Bhu Namanasana or the Earth Worship Pose.
  • Follow Up Poses: The various follow-up poses to be practiced after Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose to counter the stretches in this inverted pose are the other inverted asanas and Bhumi Pada Mastakasana or The Half Head Stand.

Benefits of Practicing Padma Sarvangasana or the Lotus in Shoulderstand Pose

Practicing the Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose on a regular basis and including it in your daily yoga practice is very beneficial for the body in a number of ways and some of them are mentioned below:

  • Padma Sarvangasana helps in Increasing the flow of blood to the brain and thus helps in flushing out toxins stored in the body which also helps in getting a glow on the face.
  • The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose also helps in draining excess blood and lymph collected in the legs.
  • It helps in maintaining the health of the uterus and ovaries and thus helps in improving the health of the female reproductive system.
  • Due to the inversion, extra nourishment is carried to the face, ears, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs while practicing Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • It is a very beneficial pose for the patient suffering from thyroid disorders.
  • Padma Sarvangasana strengthens the muscles of the neck, back, and shoulders.
  • The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose improves the alignment of the spine with regular practice.
  • It stimulates your abdominal organs and eases flatulence and acid reflux.
  • It also helps in increasing concentration and memory with regular practice.
  • Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose helps in relieving constipation when practiced regularly.
  • It helps relieve you of all the back problems.
  • The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose lengthens your spine and opens your shoulders.
  • Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose helps in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration, allows more awareness of the unconscious realms and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of this pose.
  • Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose refreshes and rejuvenates you and also relieves you of stress and mild depression.
  • The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose makes your body flexible and tones the core muscle of the body.
  • It also helps in reducing respiratory illnesses with regular practice.

Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Padma Sarvangasana or the Lotus in Shoulderstand Pose

  • Pregnant females should not practice Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose as it exerts a lot of pressure on the abdomen.
  • Females who are menstruating should also not practice Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • People who have any issues or pain in their neck or back and have had recent surgery to your neck or back in the recent past should also not practice The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose. And always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert as it helps to keep away any injuries.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • People suffering from chronic spinal problems should not practice The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • It is most beneficial when you stay aware of the stretches in the muscles while holding the pose. So, always remain aware while you are practicing Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
  • You should not practice The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose if you had a heavy meal.
  • People with Chronic headaches or migraines should not practice Padma Sarvangasana.
  • It should not be practiced by people suffering from Diarrhea.
  • It should not be practiced by people with Slipped disc.
  • People with brain injury or any brain diseases should not practice Padma Sarvangasana.
  • People with high blood pressure should also not practice Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.

Tips While Practicing Padma Sarvangasana or the Lotus in Shoulderstand Pose

  • To stabilize your body while practicing Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose, you can rest your hands on the legs just beside the knees while in this pose. While doing this, the fingers of your hands will be directed inwards towards your body.
  • Please, note that the vertebra should not be loaded and also should not take the entire weight of your body and legs. The weight of your body should be evenly distributed between your shoulders and the nape of your neck.
  • If you feel any sharp shooting pain while practicing Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose, release the pose immediately and lie in Shavasana.
  • You must prepare your body to practice The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose by doing the preparatory stretches and steps.
  • You should also know your body limits and how much pain and stretch your body can bear if the stretch and pain are too much to bear, come out of the pose immediately and rest in any relaxation poses like Shavasana.
  • Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose is an advanced pose and should be practiced with constant efforts and under the guidance of a trained Yoga Expert.
  • It is important that your stomach is empty and bowels are clean when you practice Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose. And always keep a gap at least four to six hours between your yogasanas practice and meal because this will give you enough time to digest the food and create enough energy and vitality for your practice. You should practice yogasanas in the morning. In case you cannot practice yoga in the morning, you can practice the same in evening as well.

Padma Sarvangasana or the Lotus in Shoulderstand Pose Variations

Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose can be practiced in three different ways:

  • Variation 1: While practicing variation 1 of Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose, you get into Lotus pose first and then lie down to get to the full Padma Sarvangasana.
  • Variation 2: To practice Variation 2 of Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose, get into Sarvangasana first and fold your legs into Padmasana from Sarvangasana.
  • Variation 3: You can practice Half Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose if you are a beginner by folding only one leg at a time and gradually with constant and consistent efforts you will get into Full Padma Sarvangasana or The Lotus in Shoulder Stand Pose.
Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 8, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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