Sarvangasana – Shoulder stand
Sanskrit: Sarv - all, Anga - limbs, Asana – pose
Sarvangasana has similar effects as Sirshasana, the headstand. In addition, the thyroid gland is stimulated by the pressure of the chin on the sternum. On the energetic level, the Vishuddhi Chakra (throat chakra) is stimulated. The numerous advantages show the importance of this pose.
- Level: Beginner / Advanced
- Duration: a few seconds to 5 minutes
- Repetition: none
- Stretches: neck
- Strengthens: neck, internal organs, thyroid, spinal nerves
- Chakra: Vishuddhi Chakra (Throat Chakra)
♥ Stimulates the thyroid gland
♥ Regulates the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems
♥ Soothes the mind
♥ Strengthens the immune system
♥ Has an effect on the parathyroid glands (normal bone development)
♥ Deepens the abdominal breathing
♥ Internal organs are massaged
♥ Helps with hemorrhoids by reducing the pressure on the anus
♥ Blood flow in the legs and lower abdomen is stimulated
♥ Makes the neck flexible
♥ Strengthens the spinal nerves
♥ Rejuvenates eyes, ears, and vocal cords
♦ Enlarged thyroid, spleen or liver
♦ Slipped disc
♦ High blood pressure
♦ Weak heart
♦ Advanced pregnancy
♦ Weak blood vessels in the eyes
♦ Impure blood (would flow to the brain)
Instructions for Sarvangasana
- Lie flat on the back. The head and spine are in a straight line. The legs are pushed through and the feet touch each other. Hands are lying next to the body, palms down. Relax the whole body and your mind. Inhale.
- Hold your breath until you are in the final position. Tighten your abdominal muscles and use your arms to raise your legs to a vertical position.
- When the legs are in an upright position, press your arms and hands against the floor.
- Slowly roll the buttocks and back off the floor and raise the upper body to an upright position.
- Turn your palms upwards, bend your elbows and support your back with your hands. The elbows are about shoulder-width apart on the floor.
- Now push the chest forward so that it presses lightly against the chin.
- In this final position, the legs are vertical, pushed through and together. They form a straight line with the upper body. Breathe slowly and deeply. Close your eyes and relax your whole body.
- To get out of the pose, hold your breath and bring your legs over your head down towards the floor. They are still stretched out. Slowly take your hands off your back and put your arms down next to your body, palms facing down. Now lower your back slowly - vertebra by vertebra – in a controlled manner. Then lower the buttocks and legs on the floor. That is done without the help of the hands.
- Relax in Shavasana until your breathing and heart rate have returned to normal.
The science behind Sarvangasana
Sarvangasana has a tremendous effect on our body, mind and energy balance. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, this exercise is highly praised. It should have a rejuvenating effect and balance the sun and moon energy in the body. In addition, Sarvangasana opens Sushumna (the subtle channel of the spine). Jatharagni, the digestive fire, is stimulated. However, Sarvangasana has the greatest effect on the Vishuddhi Chakra and the purity associated with it. As the name suggests, this posture affects all parts of the body - especially the thyroid, which is responsible for the energy supply.
Note: Yoga beginners should first learn all yoga practices from a competent teacher and then practice alone.