Procedure and Benefits of Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Pose

Yoga Teacher Training IndiaIntroduction:

Sarvangasana is one of the important members of the family of inverted poses in Yoga. These postures are restorative in nature and the practice of Asana session is always concluded with such poses. They are highly valuable in the preparation and facilitation of the sound practice of Pranayama as well as meditation techniques.This is one of the poses in the advanced level Yoga Teacher Training Course.

Meaning of the name: The Sanskrit meaning of “Sarva” is all”, and “Anga” means “body parts ” or “member”. Thus, the translation of Sarvangasana is “the posture of the whole body” or “the asana of all organs” of the body. This asana’s name derives from the fact that all the bodily parts are harmoniously getting benefited. But in English, it is called as Shoulder stand pose.

 

A Procedure of the practice of Shoulder Stand pose.

  • Take Supine Position. Lie down on the carpet/mat facing upward. Keep the hands beside the thighs and the legs together.
  • While inhaling start raising both the legs upward up to 90 degrees. Exhale.
  • Again inhale and raise the waist and push the legs backward over the head.
  • Support the waist with both the hands and then gradually lift the legs straight in alignment with the body.
  • Maintain the final position with normal breathing. Gaze at tip of the nose while in the final position.
  • While exhaling, bring the legs down over the head, release the support of the hands from the waist and then gently place the back on the floor. Again exhale and bring the legs down to the floor.

Precautions and Contraindications:

  • This asana should not be practiced by people suffering from enlarged thyroid, liver, spleen, cervical spondylitis, Slipped disc, high blood pressure, heart ailments and weak blood vessels in the eyes.
  • One must avoid jerky movements in the practice.
  • Women are advised not to practice this pose during menstruation and Pregnancy.

Benefits:

Sarvangasana brings numerous health benefits. Few of them are listed here

  • Sarvangasana improves the efficacy endocrine and nervous systems. The flexion at the chin and increased blood flow to due to the assistance of the gravity force enhance the working conditions of the major endocrinal glands such as the pituitary, thyroid and parathyroid glands. These are the important glands which regulate the various body functions.
  • The practice of this asana has notable effects on metabolism, growing, and nutrition, influencing to develop the positive health.
  • Abnormal physiologic curves of the spine are gradually eliminated. The spine is nourished and it becomes consequently more flexible and strong.
  • The practice of this asana prevents the early ossification of vertebrae and bones and body will maintain a youthful appearance.
  • It is a powerful blood purifier, its action extending on the nerves as well. It has a tonic and at the same time calming effect on the nerves, eliminating the stares of irritation, headaches and insomnia.
  • It relieves mental and emotional stress
  • It tones the legs & abdomen and relieves varicose veins.
  • It improves the flexibility of the neck
  • It gives a gentle massage to the heart and lungs, Improves the lung capacity.
  • It is beneficial for people suffering from poor circulation, constipation, indigestion, asthma and reduced vitality.
  • This pose is especially recommended for women after childbirth and for those suffering from painful menstruation (but not during the cycle itself), other female disorders, and seminal weakness.

Duration        

  • The practice should be started initially with 10-15 seconds and the duration may be increased slowly maximum unto 3 minutes.

Sequence:

  • The inverted postures are best practiced at the end of the practice session of all the Asanas

Practice tip

  • Practice the counter pose (back bending posture or neck extension) after this.

 Mechanisms:

  • Influence of the force of gravity: The reversed position of the body is assisted by the force of gravity. This mechanism enhances the blood flow from peripheral regions of the body.
  • Negative Pressure: Due to the topsy-turvy condition of the body it creates the negative pressure. This change is helpful increasing the venous return. As per the Hemodynamic of the body, this increase will help in improving the assimilation of the nutrients and eliminations of the toxins from the body.