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Friday, July 10, 2009

Sarvangasana: Shoulder Stand Yoga | Shoulder Stretch

Yoga is the ancient Indian tradition of body and mind fitness. Its aim is to harmonize the body, mind and spirit through a series of postures, breathing techniques and meditation. These postures are movements and stretches that when combined with breathing exercises prove very beneficial for the body. Yoga incorporates several postures, each addressing and benefiting one or more body functions. One such useful posture is the sarvangasana posture.

Sarvangasana - Shoulder Stretches


Sarvangasana yoga is often referred to as the queen of postures. The word ‘sarvangasana’ comes from Sanskrit and translates as ‘full body posture’, indicating its positive effect on the entire body. Sarvangasana is an inverted yoga posture. It includes several variations like salamba sarvangasana and setu banda sarvangasana; salamba sarvangasana is also known as the supported shoulder stand while the setu banda sarvangasana is commonly referred to as the bridge pose.

Shoulderstand Yoga

The biggest impact of sarvangasana is the reversing effect of gravity the body experiences when undertaking this pose. Sarvangasana tunes the body and improves functioning all in one go. The following is a list of sarvangasana benefits:

Improves Overall Health – Sarvangasana targets the entire body. Every muscle in the body is forced into action. This in turn stimulates corresponding organs and glands in the body. It also boosts blood circulation and energy flow as well as strengths the nervous system. Additionally, your muscles get toned, leaving you looking leaner and feeling lighter.

Boosts Circulation – Sarvangasana improves blood circulation along the body; this in turn boosts some body functions and at the same time relieves pressure experienced in other parts of the body. When assuming this posture, blood flow is directed from the lower region of the body towards the heart, boosting heart function. It also makes the heart’s job of pumping blood towards the brain much easier. On the other hand this pose is also beneficial for easing conditions like varicose veins.

Aids Respiratory Functions – Like the heart, the lungs too benefits greatly from this pose as it ensures oxygen supply to both the lower and upper regions of the lung. It is also very helpful in easing respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma, nasal congestions and throat infections.

Improves Digestive Functions – Sarvangasana is excellent for those suffering from digestive disorders. It is especially effective in improving the body’s metabolism as it promotes thyroid function. The thyroid is situated in the neck. When one undertakes it posture, a fresh flow of blood and nutrients is directed to the thyroid gland, stimulating the gland. This posture is also helps resolve common problems like constipation and boosts digestion.

Boosts Sexual Function – This posture also boosts sexual function. As you assume the posture, fresh blood and nutrients are supplied to the reproductive organs. This is also a recommended posture for women trying to conceive. It also allows for blood purification and therefore is a useful posture for women post childhood and those suffering from painful menstruation.