You probably did it all the time as a kid, but for some reason you stopped experiencing the joys of hanging upside down as you got older. Inversions are amongst the most beneficial and therapeutic posters in yoga and even yogis in their 90’s are still doing it! CNY Healing Arts Center invites you to experience the magical healing benefits of the so-called “queen” of yoga inversions, salamba sarvangasana. Attend a yoga class at the CNY Healing Arts Center nearest you and we will help you explore the healing benefits of yoga. Check out our class schedules here.
Getting Into Shoulder Stand:
Shoulder stand is not for everyone and some may find it very difficult to get into. If this is the case, it is always better to have a yoga instructor help you get into it safely.
If you have a tweak in your neck, you will want to use a folded blanket support under your shoulders so that your neck is allowed to remain relatively free rather than scrunched onto the floor.
Lie down on your back with your arms on the floor, palms down and bend your knees into towards you. Flip your legs over your head so that your back is off the floor. The shoulders remain on the floor and you are using them to balance. Make sure that your shoulder blades are tucked in underneath you and that your elbows are close together (you can do this 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. Activate your pelvic floor muscles to help support your neck and back.
As a beginner, you can come into half shoulder stand by placing your knees onto your forehead. For the full pose extend the legs up towards the sky, while supporting the back. Eventually, your 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 come out extend the legs back over your head and roll out of it vertebrae by vertebrae. Once your whole spine is flat on the floor, you can release the feet back down to the ground.
The Benefits of Shoulder Stand:
• Inverted poses are extremely important because they reverse the action of gravity on the body and get the blood and lymph flowing in opposite directions.
• On an emotional level shoulder stand helps turn everything on its head and helps us see things from a different angle.
• It helps boost self-confidence.
• Because of the increased blood flow to the top of the body, shoulder stand can help improve brain function and cognition and reduce anxiety and depression.
• It takes pressure off the heart, which has to work less to get blood flowing to the brain.
• Helps with lung function by improving blood flow to the area, making it useful for people suffering from respiratory tract disorders.
• After a yoga class, inversions help to divert blood from the legs into the abdominal region, which means a fresh flow of oxygenated blood to the organs. This has applications in improving both digestive and reproductive functions.