"Yoga has been known to cause health and happiness!" This quote explains how important yoga and yoga asanas are for growing up a healthy and fit body and a happy and peaceful mind. There are various types of yoga asanas or the yoga poses which have their special benefits on us. Sarvangasana or the Shoulder stand is one of the yogasanas practised by the followers for its incredible health benefits. In this current article we will talk about the Shoulder stand or the Sarvangasana where we will get to know about what exactly shoulder stand mean, how to do the sarvangasana and its various health benefits.

Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana

A General Overview on Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

Shoulder stand is also known as Sarvangasana (in Sanskrit) which comes from the Sanskrit word, "Sarva" representing "Whole". This is a yoga pose or the yoga asana which helps in strengthening our entire body and providing tremendous amount of health benefits to us. It not only helps in making us fit from outside but also helps in strengthening all our inner body parts and mind. This asana is also termed as the "all-members pose", because while doing the yoga move our all the body parts are engaged in it. Though all the body parts are engaged while doing the workout or the Sarvangasana it is referred to as "Shoulder stand" because while doing this your entire body weight rests on the top outer edges of the shoulders.

Benefits of Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

"The pose begins when you want to get out of it!" So, if you have not yet found the reasons to choose Sarvangasana or the Shoulder stand as your workout move yet; then check out the benefits of doing the yoga and find out by self what all can you get rid of by doing the Shoulder stand regularly.

  • Shoulder stand or Sarvangasana helps in nourishing the brain by supplying more blood to it
  • It gives relaxation from constipation and indigestion
  • Shoulder stand helps in stretching the heart muscles by supplying more of the venous blood into the heart
  • Sarvangasana reduces insomnia, anxiety etc
  • Shoulder stand or Sarvangasana helps in calming the nerves
  • It normalizes the function of thyroid and parathyroid glands.
  • Shoulder stand or Sarvangasana stimulates the thymus gland which helps in improving the immune system
  • Because of its effect on thyroid, sarvangasana can help in controlling the body weight
  • Shoulder stand or the Sarvangasana helps in increasing the capacity of the lungs
  • In women, it enhances the functioning of the ovaries
  • Uterine ligaments in women are balanced by doing Sarvangasana
  • It relaxes one's mood and keeps it calm
  • Apart from all these benefits, Shoulder stand also help in relieving cough, cold, asthma and headache too.

How to do the Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana?

One of the best quote you would come across ever would be, "The most effective way to do it, is to do it!" Now, to know how to do the Shoulder stand or the Sarvangasana, all you need is stick your eyes in this section where we will be presenting you with the steps of doing the yogasana below.

The Simple Way To Do The Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

  • Lie on your back on the ground over a mat.
  • Slowly lift your leg up towards the sky such that your body angle is at 90 degree.
  • Now slowly, try to lift your lower and mid back off the ground such that your entire body weight is rested on your shoulders and upper back. You can support your back or try lifting your back as much as possible with both your hands
  • Now point your heels up and raise your toes towards the ceiling so straight that it looks like you are going to step on the ceiling. Keep your sternum pressed towards the chin. Feel the tightening of your neck muscles at this point, though you must take a break in case of pain of strain here. Be in this position for at least 30 seconds. Have a deep breath at this posture.
  • Bring your knees and legs down slowly, get your hands of your back and keep your palm on the ground, without lifting your head bring your spine down slowly, lower your legs slowly at the floor and relax for at least one minute.

Awareness While Doing the Shoulder stand/Sarvangasana:

"The first step in change is awareness. The second step is acceptance." So, before you start accepting and following the shoulder stand or the sarvangasana, we must understand and be aware of certain crucial things to be kept on mind. Let us check them below.

  • Be aware of keeping the entire body on straight line while doing Shoulder stand or Sarvangasana
  • Be aware of the abdominal breathing
  • Being aware of staying balanced
  • There must be a focus on the neck, shoulder, the throat and also the abdomen while doing Shoulder stand or Sarvangasana.

The Dos and Don'ts in Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

Now here we are with the Dos and Don'ts of doing Shoulder Stand or the Sarvangasana.

Dos of Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

  • Keep the body, the legs and the knees in straight line
  • Focus your eye sight on the toes
  • Make a note that the trunk is raised vertically so much above that your chin can easily touch your chest.

Don'ts of Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

  • Do not bend your knees
  • Do not try moving your neck while being at the posture
  • Do not raise your head from the floor
  • Make sure not to tense your legs and prevent the drainage of blood.

Precautions To Know Before Doing The Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

Let us know about the most essential precautions for doing shoulder stand or the sarvangasana. Because, there are certain things which must be restricted for better of self.

  • Make sure women are avoiding the shoulder stand while menstruation and pregnancy
  • Do avoid the shoulder stand in case you suffer from cervical spondylitis, slipped disc, enlarged spleen or enlarged liver etc.
  • Avoid doing Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana if you are having high blood pressure, any heart disease or brain diseases or better to consult your doctor as well as yoga expert to know if it is safe for you to do this exercise.

Tips for the Beginners for Doing the Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

  • You may take the support of a blanket under your neck and shoulders
  • You can take the support of the wall if it becomes difficult for you to raise your body, legs or knees
  • Knees can be bent at first while raising the body and then slowly lifted up when are adjusted to the posture.

Follow-up Poses for Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana:

There are some of the yoga poses which requires to be done after doing the shoulder stand or the sarvangasana. Matsyasana is one of the most essential yoga moves to be added under the follow up poses for shoulder stand or sarvangasana. Apart from this, any of the yoga poses which involves the bending of head backwards like the Chakrasana, Bhujangasana etc can be helpful after Sarvangasana. Halasana, aswini mudra etc are some other yoga moves to be performed after Sarvangasana.

Note: In case you suffer from any health issues mentioned above (including high blood pressure, heart diseases, thyroid etc), do have a thorough consultation with your physician before doing sarvangasana or shoulder stand.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 6, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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