Sarvangasana


The Queen of all yoga positions

Sarvangasana a.k.a. ‘shoulder-stand pose’; known as the ‘queen of all postures’ for its effect on the body. When the body is held upside down, it reverses the roles of most of the muscles in the body. So, the muscles that are normally passive during exercise become active and vice versa. If I only had 10 minutes to do yoga for whatever reason, I would do this yoga asana.


In addition, when you are holding Sarvangasana, the diaphragm has to work against gravity when breathing. This adds another dimension to the lungs movement when breathing and therefore increases the lungs mobility (which, in turn, increases the amount of oxygenated blood available).


How to get into the position

Lying down on your mat, on your back, gently raise the lower part of your body vertically, with a pull of the abdominal muscles, supported by your palms, which should be placed on your lower back. Then exhale and use your palms on your back to lift your body high by bringing your thighs towards your torso and pushing up with a straight back.


The foundation of the position is the shoulder line (not the neck) and it is essential that the elbows are in a little so that the shoulders come together, and the scapulae find elevation.


Hold this position for eight full breaths.


Benefits

Sarvangasana:

  • Helps relieve stress accumulation;

  • Increases lung mobility (as discussed above);

  • Improves digestion

  • Stimulates the prostate and thyroid


Contraindications

Avoid this posture if you have hypertension or neck injury.

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