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Therapeutic Yoga





Shoulder Stand / Sarvangasana

shoulder stand pose


1. To start, lie on the floor on your back with your arms at your side, palms down.

2. Push down on your palms and bring your legs up at a right angle to your torso.

3. Swing your legs over your head to provide a counterweight so you can lift your pelvis, torso and buttocks off the floor.

4. Bend your elbows and support your back with your hands

5. Lift your legs and hips upward, moving your hands towards your shoulder blades.

6. Steady your spine when you have reached a position where your legs and torso are at a right angle to the floor.

8. Point your feet towards the ceiling.

9. Remember to breathe evenly.

10. 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.


Yoga 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 glands.

  • 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.

General Notes

Advanced students 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 thyroid.

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.)

  • Menstruation - 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.

Be 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 it again.

Additional Postures:


Disclaimer: 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 and terms of use.




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