Known as the “queen” of all yoga postures, Shoulderstand is packed with healing and restorative benefits for your mind, body and spirit.
Shoulderstand is indeed the queen, or mother of asanas. As a mother strives for harmony and balance in the home, this asana strives for harmony and balance in the human system. It can be seen as a panacea for most common ailments. In Sanskrit, Sarva means “all” or “entire” and Anga means “organ” or “body part.” Translated, it means “full body pose” because of all of the many benefits for the entire body.
Since Shoulderstand helps the whole body, it is cure to all from the common cold to constipation, insomnia and thyroid imbalance. Moreover, it is considered an inversion which helps to energize and bring blood to the heart, thereby relieving sinus congestion and stress, not to mention strengthen the immune functions of the hormonal system.
Finally, Shoulderstand helps to balance the sympathetic, or “fight or flight” response and parasympathetic, or rest and relaxation systems. Anything that affects this balance, whether internal (hunger, the need for oxygen, fear) or external (temperature change, movement, watching a movie), asks us to change from one state of balance, such as hunger, to another, such as digestion. This pose supports these changes and can be therapeutic to any tensions that may arise from these transitions.
- Come to a seated position. You can place a folded up blanket behind you for more support. Lie on your back. If you are using a blankets be sure both shoulders are on the blanket and that your head is flat on the floor.
- Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your arms by your side and press them into the floor as you curl your spine and bring your thighs toward your chest.
- Lift your pelvis and back off the floor. Bend your elbows and bring your your palms to your lower back. Curl your pelvis towards your shoulders and slowly walk your hands up your back. Keep your elbows drawing inward and your fingers pointed upward.
- Slowly straighten your legs and bring your feet up towards the ceiling. Continue to walk your hands up your back until your upper spine lifts away from the floor and your torso is vertical.
- Keep your hands on your back for support and press your upper arms into the floor or blanket. With each inhale, expand your chest towards your chin.
- Hold for 30 seconds to several minutes. To release, walk your hands down your back and gently curl your spine back to the floor and lower your legs
As the weather shifts to chillier or even frigid temperatures, many of us are finding ourselves with the sniffles or sore throats. Beat the symptoms of a common cold all year long with Shoulderstand. Reap all of the benefits of this pose and restore from the winter chill.