Salamba Sarvangasana | Supported Shoulderstand

The Shoulderstand is said to benefit all the parts of the body, hence its Sanskrit name comes from ‘sarva anga’ which means ‘all parts’. It is also known as the queen of all yoga poses, Headstand being the king. According to some there are three asanas which alone will keep you in perfect health: Headstand, Shoulderstand and Forward-bend.

Alignments:

> Preparing pose: Keep lenghtening the back of the body, press the palms towards the floor.
> Modification: Keep the elbows close to the body, keep the head still.
> Full position: Keep your neck long, don’t collapse the chin towards the chest. Keep the head still.

Key benefits:

> Opening the chest and shoulder area, releasing pressure.
> Balances the tyroid function, beneficial to your metabolism.
> Can reduce headache and relieve indigestion/constipation and stomach problems.

sarvangasana-buildup

Duration/practise:

Preparing pose: Hold 3-5 min (all level of practitioners)
Modification: Hold 30 sec (beginners), 3-5 min (intermed/advanced)
Full position: Hold 30 sec (beginners), 3-5 min (intermed/advanced)

Cautions:

Do not practice modification or full pose in the beginning of your menstruation or if you suffer from high bloodpressure. Sarvangasana can be beneficial to stabilize the bloodpressure, but people who suffer from high bloodpressure shall always consult their doctor before attempting full inversions.

Salamba Sirsasana | Supported Head Stand

Sirsasana is often referred to as the “King of Asanas” and is considered by many to be a panacea for many human ills. The pose is one of the most powerful asanas for both body and mind. It’s considered to be an intermediate to advanced pose, but requires little strenght and is mainly a matter of conquering your fears and believing that you can do it.

Alignments:

> Arms: Elbows at shoulder width. Roll the upper arms slightly outward, but press the inner wrists firmly into the floor.
> Head/sholder: Set the crown of your head on the floor. Prevent the weight of the shoulders collapsing onto your neck and head.
> Center line: The center of the arches should align over the center of the pelvis, which in turn should align over the crown of the head.

Key benefits:

> Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
> Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands
> Strengthens the arms, legs, and spine
> Strengthens the lungs
> Tones the abdominal organs, improves digestion
> Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
> Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis

sirsasana-buildup

Duration/practise:

Preparing pose: Hold 3-5 min (all level of practitioners)
Modification: Hold 3-5 min (intermed/advanced)
Full position: Hold 3-5 min (intermed/advanced)
As a beginning practitioner stay for 10 seconds. Gradually add 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay every day or so until you can comfortably hold the pose for 3 minutes. Again gradually add 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay every day or so until you can comfortably hold the pose for 5 minutes.

Cautions:

Back- or neck injury
Headache
Heart condition
High blood pressure
Menstruation
Low blood pressure: Don’t start practice with this pose
Pregnancy: If you are experienced with this pose. Don’t take up the practice of Sirsasana after you become pregnant.