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Shoulder Stand

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Inversions are such a gift to your body, mind, spirit, and especially blood flow. There is magic that happens when you go upside down. Whether completely in a headstand, forearm stand, or handstand, or simple hips above heart such as in the powerhouse of a pose known as Shoulder Stand, known in sanskrit as Sarvangasana

Many teachers are uncomfortable teaching inversions, and avoid them for fear of potentially inviting the possibility of injury into their classroom. However this only causes more risk to the student, of missing the incredible balancing benefits of inversions. It is well worth the time and energy for teachers to educate themselves on how to properly guide their students into inversions. 

Unless you are a woman in the midst of the menstruation phase of your moon cycle, inversions ideally are practiced every day, and shoulder stand is the Queen of all inversions!

Supporting of a healthy blood pressure, balanced glucose levels, emotional health, and a more agile mind, inversions truly are amazing. 

Shoulder stand takes these benefits even further, as it is well known for regulating and stimulating the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

And there’s more.


When your body is inverted, gravity starts to do some really special work. The internal organs can relax in a very specific way, and make their way back to ideal positioning that is lost in the stressful demands that modern life has on your body through long periods of sitting in chairs or cars. 


The blood flow to your heart increases without any effort or strain, and this greatly supports breathlessness, palpitations, bronchitis, throat issues, as well as headaches & colds.


Shoulder stand ALSO prevents and reduces varicosity, and relieves tightness and fatigue in the legs, as well as supporting circulation and waste elimination.

However, there are certain conditions which are contraindicated for shoulder stand (meaning if you have them do NOT practice shoulder stand)

  • High blood pressure & heart conditions
  • Ear infection & eye conditions
  • Cervical arthritis or other neck issues
  • Overweight
  • Headache
  • Hyperthyroid
  • Backache

Because of its pacifying, cooling and soothing effect on the system, stimulating asanas are not to be practised after the Shoulderstand, instead forwards and supine poses are best.

To derive most benefits the Shoulder stand pose should be practised regularly and can be held for up to 10 minutes or more.

Props you may need: a mat, 3 to 5 blankets or shoulder pads, a belt, a chair, a wall, 1 or 2 bolsters. 

Finally, be sure to begin your journey with shoulder stand with an experienced, qualified, and caring Yoga Teacher. And you can find that at Studio Yooga of course!

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