Sarvangasana: The Mother of All Yoga Sequences

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By Rishikul Yogshala

August 18, 2017

Every yoga pose has its own benefits…..some for the heart, some for stomach, some for the back, etc. But, in between our tightly-packed schedule, it is hard to manage time for various asanas to regulate overall body parts. In such a scenario, if you are seeking an asana that can take care of your entire system from toes to fingers, that makes you experience a flow of new life within, new vigour and strength, that makes you feel happy and confident, then start practicing Sarvangasana!

Sarvangasana pose is all about uplifting the entire body with the support of hands and shoulders. Derived its name from different Sanskrit words: Sarva- Entire, Anga- Body Part, Asana- Yoga posture, Sarva-Anga-Asana means asana covering the whole body. Also popular as Shoulder stand pose, Sarvangasana pose is one of the best yoga postures in Hatha yoga due to its pivotal role in proper functioning of the overall body. Popular for its wonderful benefits, this pose works amazingly for various organs of the body and prevents it from a number of diseases and disorders.

 How to do: Step by step guide

  1. Lie on the back and keep your hands on either side close to your body.
  2. Raise your legs, hips and back in the air and support your back with hands.
  3. Try to keep your whole body in a straight line by placing your hands on the back. Press the elbows on the floor and hands into the back to keep straightening the body. Put the entire body weight on the shoulders, not on your head and neck.
  4. Bring your feet straight over nose and keep the legs firm. If you feel any strain or stress in the neck then come back to normal state.
  5. Breathe deeply and hold this posture for 30-60 seconds.
  6. To come back to starting state, bring your knees down to the forehead, hands to the floor with palms towards the floor. Now, bring your whole body down to the floor without lifting the head.

Keep these things in mind before getting started

  • Prepare yourself for this asana by doing a few other yoga sequences in order to open up your muscles. Neck and lower back exercise can be done before doing the shoulder stand. Relieve spinal stiffness, if any, before getting into this intensive asana.
  • Always perform Sarvangasana in the supervision of a yoga expert or instructor.
  • Don’t ignore any strain or stress in the neck. If done incorrectly, you may face a severe neck injury.
  • Give ample support from your arms to back. Don’t cause any pressure or pain in your neck. Elderly people, people with high blood pressure, back or neck injuries, slipped disk, cardiovascular diseases, shouldn’t attempt this posture.
  • Don’t come out of the posture at once with a jerk. Do it gently and slowly.
  • Don’t get up immediately. Follow with Corpse pose or Savasana.
  • You can do this asana daily twice a day. Start with two minutes in the beginning and increase it to almost 30 minutes gradually.
  • Follow with Matsyasana (fish posture). Doing this, pain in the back part of the neck will be relieved and the usefulness of Sarvangasana will be intensified.

Benefits of Sarvangasana

  1. No more thyroid problems: The pose helps glands to absorb nutrients from blood by bathing them in blood and ensuring their proper functioning. Also, it ensures blood flow to neck regions and revitalizes the throat.
  2. Good for your heart: In the pose, when the body is inverted and the blood flow in heart region enhances. This leads to proper functioning of the heart.
  3. Amazing vigor and strength: Regular practice of the pose develops new vigour and strength in the practitioner and makes them joyous and confident.
  4. Relieves headache: During the inverted position, the supply of blood in the head region is increased that helps manage headache and migraine.
  5. Hypertension: People with high blood pressure, short temper, nervous breakdown and irritation should practice this pose on a regular basis as it cools down the nerves.
  6. Cures Insomnia: The pose helps treat insomnia. During the pose, when the body is in inverted position of the asana, blood circulation to the ENT region enhances. This increases nutrients supply in this region.
  7. Relieves constipation: The pose vanishes constipation completely by regulating free movement of the bowel.
  8. Relieves ulcers: The pose helps in relieving stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers, chronic pains in the abdominal region and colitis, as it activates the abdominal organs and stimulates the intestinal and stomach glands.
  9. Stops hair fall: It prevents hair fall by enhancing the supply of blood in the head region.
  10. Sexual disorders: In the case of sexual disorders and problems such as frequent abortions, leucorrhoea, syphilis etc, Sarvangasana is quite beneficial.
  11. Weight Loss: It helps in burning flab by enhancing the metabolism functions in the body.
  12. Better eyesight: The pose accelerates the blood circulation in the ENT region and improves the eye vision.
  13. Takes care of Skin: Say goodbye to wrinkles and pimples. The pose helps delay ageing and makes you look young and pretty.

There are different types of Sarvangasana for you to practice on a regular basis to make up the entire body.

To Know more about Sarvangasana, join yoga teacher training in India.

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