Shoulder Stand / Sarvangasana
To start, lie on the floor on your back with your arms at
your side, palms down.
Push down on your palms and bring your legs up at a right
angle to your torso.
Swing your legs over your head to provide a counterweight
so you can lift your pelvis, torso and buttocks off the floor.
Bend your elbows and support your back with your hands
Lift your legs and hips upward, moving your hands towards
your shoulder blades.
Steady your spine when you have reached a position where your
legs and torso are at a right angle to the floor.
Point your feet towards the ceiling.
to breathe evenly.
To come out of the pose safely, move your legs towards your
head. Place your arms back down at your sides. Slowly and
carefully roll your your spine back down to the floor.
experts and Ayurvedic practitioners often tout these benefits
from the shoulder stand:
- By allowing
blood to flow from the legs and feet into the upper body,
it is thought to nourish and stimulate the thyroid and parathyroid
- May help prevent
varicose veins by allowing stagnant blood to flow out of
the feet and legs.
- May be helpful
for throat ailments.
- Elongates the
spine, helping to keep it supple and strong.
- Promotes abdominal
breathing by limiting the use of the upper part of the lungs.
often hold this pose for up to five minutes. Beginners may
hold the pose for 5 - 10 breaths, increasing this amount of
time with continued practice of the posture.
This posture is
noted for benefiting all parts of the body. Because of this,
It is often referred to as the"Queen of asanas".
(The King of asanas is the headstand.)
This pose is often
recommended to improve a sluggish
The literal translation
of Sarvangasana from Sanskrit is usually interpreted to mean
"entire body posture" or "all limbs posture".
This pose may not
be good for those with the following health conditions. (Please
not this is not meant to be an inclusive list, but rather
a sample of the types of health conditions that may be aggravated
by this pose.)
- this is a somewhat debated topic in yoga, however, many
yoga experts advise avoiding inverted poses such as the
shoulder stand during menstruation.
- High blood pressure
- Ear infections
- Have any eye
or neck problems
- Are pregnant.
careful not to fall attempting this pose. If you feel shaky
at any point while practicing Sarvangasana,
stop and consult an experienced yoga teacher before attempting
The yoga poses and alternative health treatments presented
in this web site are for general information and discussion
purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for proper
medical advice. Not all of the the yoga poses illustrated
in this site will be suitable for all individuals, especially
individuals with existing medical concerns. Consult your physician
before beginning any yoga or other new exercise program, especially
if you have any special conditions or health concerns such
as pregnancy, glaucoma, back or neck pain, high blood pressure,
heart disease, prior surgeries, etc. The Yoga Place and its
owners do not assume responsibility for injuries suffered
while practicing these techniques. Read the rest of our disclaimer