With over 84,000 poses in yoga to choose from for practice, yoga enthusiasts and practitioners might be left confused on just which ones are the most important. With our daily demands and commitments, most of us might not have the time to perform so many poses, for that reason it’s a good idea to focus on the one that is considered most beneficial for daily practice and that is Savangasana (Shoulderstand). It is one of my favorite inverted poses.
Inverted yoga poses reverse the action of gravity on the body. Instead of everything being pulled towards the feet, the orientation shifts towards the head. On emotional a level Shoulderstand turns everything upside down throwing a new light on old habit patterns of behavior. Shoulderstand improves health, reduces stress and anxiety, increases mental power and also increases self-confidence. In addition, the abdominal organs; liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys and pancreas receive a powerful massage helping them work better.
In Sanskrit, Sarvanga means all parts so as the name suggests, it affects all the bodily organs. It stimulates the thyroid gland, balancing the circulatory, digestive, nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems. It is indeed a panacea, a cure all. Obesity and corpulence are alleviated by this pose as well as constipation and enlargement of the liver and the spleen.
It is best practiced with its counter poses in specific durations for maximal efficiency and when planned correctly, the whole sequence takes less than 6 minutes to practice, depending on your schedule. Personally, I practice this pose daily as part of the Ashtanga primary series placing the most emphasis on this pose for all the benefits stated above.
So next time when you are unsure of which pose you should include in your yoga practice when you are short on time, make it a point to go for the Shoulder-Stand. Your body will thank you for it.
Modifications & Variations
Shoulderstand can bring many benefits to your mind, body, and spirit when practiced regularly and with correct alignment. Be sure to make whatever changes you need to reduce discomfort when practicing it. Here are a few suggestions:
For extra shoulder support, place a folded, firm blanket beneath your shoulders before coming into the pose. Your head and neck should be off the blanket. This extra support can also help prevent neck injury.
Only lift both legs at the same time if your abdominal muscles are strong enough. Do not struggle to lift both legs together. If it is too difficult, lift one leg at a time.
Practice Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani) as a modification for those with neck injuries and for women who are menstruating. *See above picture*
As with all inversions, it’s crucial to ensure you are performing the pose with correct alignment; otherwise, it’s very easy to injure your neck. Be sure to take it slowly and make whatever adjustments you need to reduce discomfort.
All 30 Minute Sequence 30-minute Sequence 8 Limbs Of Yoga Ashtanga Yoga Ayurveda Beginner Yoga Breathing In Yoga Chakras Dosha Gentle Yoga Hatha Yoga Hip Openers History Of Yoga Home Yoga Mantras Meditation Meditation For Beginners Moon Salutations Patañjali Pillars Of Yoga Practice Of Yoga Pranayama Prenatal Yoga Restorative Yoga Shoulder Openers Sun Salutations Ujjayi Breathing Yama And Niyama Yoga And Meditation Yoga Benefits Yoga Blocks Yoga Breathing Yoga Diet Yoga Exercise Yoga For A Cold Yoga For Adrenal Fatigue Yoga For Arms Yoga For Back Pain Yoga For Beginners Yoga For Fertility Yoga For Hamstrings Yoga For Health Yoga For Heartburn Yoga For Lower Blood Pressure Yoga For Men Yoga For Pain Yoga For Spine Yoga For Stress Relief Yoga For The Ankles Yoga Injuries Yoga Inversions Yoga Nidra Yoga Poses Yoga Poses For Men Yoga Questions Yoga Sequence Yoga Sutras Yoga Tips