Hope everyone is ready to kickstart this week. Well, I am feeling extra excited after my holidays. Last 3 weeks were amazing and obviously it went by super fast.
Today I am talking about mother of all asana; Shoulder Stand or Salamba Sarvangasana. B.K.S Iyengar referred shoulder stand as the Queen of Asana or Sarvangasana. In Iyengar’s own words (book of yoga) ’Light on Yoga’ “The importance of Sarvangasana cannot be over-emphasised. It is one of the greatest boons conferred on humanity by our ancient sages. Sarvangasana is the Mother of asanas. As a mother strives for harmony and happiness in the home, this asana strives for harmony and happiness in the human system. it is a panacea for most common ailments.”
Do you know what Sarvangasana actually means? In Sanskrit, Sarva means “all” or “entire” and Anga means “organ” or “body part.” Translated, it means “full body pose” because of its benefits for the whole body. Since it helps the entire body you ca not ignore the benefits from this pose. In fact Sri Dharma Mittra states that “some yogi’s only do this pose,” and it can be held from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. So Sarvangasana is cure to all: from common cold to constipation.
Here are some of the positive effects of Shoulder Stand:
1) Answer to thyroid imbalance: This pose is proven to balance thyroid and hypothalamus glands. It brings blood to the thyroid and parathyroid, helping them properly secrete hormones.
2) Strengthens the heart and lungs: Due to the inverted position, it reduces strain on the heart. It gives the heart a break from working so hard and helps to oxygenate the lungs. This pose has positive effect on people suffering from asthma, bronchitis and throat ailments may get relief.
3) Soothes and calms the nervous system: Sarvangasana is an answer to people who are easily irritated or prone to anger or nervous breakdowns. Daily practice of Sarvangasana will stabilise and make you less reactive to life’s circumstances.
4) Reduces constipation: Because of the inversion and change in gravitation the bowels move freely and constipation is relieved.
5) Activates throat chakra ( VISUDDAH): Shoulderstand is also practice to activate our fifth chakra. This chakra is associated with creativity and self expression. When this Chakra is open, our negative experiences can easily be transformed into wisdom and leaning.
6) Treats insomnia: Practicing Shoulderstand promotes deep sleep and therefore help cure insomnia.
7) Reduces wrinkles: Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was a yogi and practiced Shoulderstand daily? Well, Due to increased blood flow to the face, wrinkles can be reduced.
As with many yoga postures, there are contraindications.
- People with high blood pressure, detached retina, glaucoma, hernias, cardiovascular disease, cervical spondylitis, and/or slipped discs should not practice shoulderstand.
- If you have or have had a neck injury, seek advice from an experienced yoga teacher before beginning to practice shoulderstand.
- Avoid during pregnancy.
- It is advised that women avoid inversions when menstruating.
- To receive similar benefits in a more restorative way, try placing a block under the sacrum to elevate the hips above the heart for Vipartita Karani (or legs up the wall)
How to do Shoulderstand:
Place the heels of the palms at the small of your back with the fingertips pointing up towards the ceiling. Lift the legs up high into the air into Shoulder Stand.Move the chin away from your chest, pull in through the belly and tuck the pelvis under. You want the ankles to be stacked above the knees, knees above the hips and hips above shoulders in one straight line.Exhale to release the knees back to the chest and slowly roll down the spine. Keep the knees in and slowly rock side to side.
Note: Shoulder stand is considered to be an intermediate to advanced pose. Do not perform this pose without prior experience or unless you are performing under the supervision of an experienced instructor.
Some of you who know me personally know that I practice yoga in the morning before stepping of the house. Shoulderstand is one of the posture that I will do every single day. It has personally helped me in many ways. Hope you guys are inspired to practice and get on that mat everyday. Girlies, If you have no experience and are still curious to practice, then feel free to write to me. If I get few responses; I might invest my time and do a beginners guide to this pose.
Stop, Drop & Yoga.
Have a great week.