The Many Benefits of Supported Shoulder Stand:
The supported shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) is a type of a supported inversion yoga asana that benefits every part of the whole body right from the head till the toes. This is one asana that most of us practice frequently during our childhood & it is a huge contributor in keeping our energy & happiness levels up during that phase of our lives.
To practice it, lie down on the floor with your arms on the floor, palms down and bend your knees towards you. Flip off your legs overhead so that the back is off the floor. The shoulders remain on the floor and you use them to balance your entire body. Make sure that your shoulder blades are tucked in underneath you and that your elbows are close together. This can be done by interlacing the fingers underneath you and pulling the shoulders and elbow together. Simultaneously, bend your arms at the elbow and bring them in to support your back, with your fingers facing up towards the ceiling. Use your pelvic floor muscles to help support your neck and back.
Beginners can come into half shoulder stand by placing your knees on the forehead. For the complete pose extend the legs up towards the sky, while supporting the back. Eventually, the body should be at a 90-degree angle to the floor with the balls of your feet pointing towards the ceiling. Hold for at least 20 breaths, breathing in and out through your nose.
To release the supported shoulder stand, extend the legs back over your head and roll out of it slowly and gradually. Once the whole spine is flat on the floor, you can release the feet back down to the ground.
The Salamba Sarvangasana inverts the body and consequently facilitates blood flow to the upper part of the body. This way it improves brain function and perception. It also helps reduce anxiety & depression. It also infuses the abdominal region with freshly oxygenated blood. This greatly benefits the digestive & urogenital organ systems. Increased blood flow in the lungs rejuvenates them & improves their function and this helps alleviate the symptoms of and eventually heal respiratory tract ailments.
The heart expends a considerable amount of energy pumping oxygenated blood and sending it to the leg areas. This supported inversion pose relieves the heart of this strenuous activity for the duration of the pose & consistent practice of this Yogasana strengthens the heart muscles.
This yoga asana also helps see life in a completely new light as it turns everything in this physical body to its head.
It also helps relieve the symptoms of menopause. It is useful in reducing fatigue and alleviating insomnia. It is a therapeutic yoga asana for asthma, infertility, and sinusitis.
However, certain conditions dissuade the practice of this Yogasana. These include Diarrhea, Headache, High blood pressure, Menstruation, Neck injury. If you are an experienced practitioner of this pose, it can be performed during pregnancy. However, as a beginner, do not initiate the practice of this Asana after you become pregnant.