Sarvangasana – The Shoulder stand pose





Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand pose comes from the Sanskrit words – ‘Sarva’ which means ‘all’ and ‘Anga’ which means ‘part’. Sarvangasana involves all parts of the body as the name suggests. Sarvangasana is one of the main inverted asanas which gives plenty of health benefits. It gives benefits to the entire body and hence isalso known as ‘Queen’ among asanas. This asana is done as a sequence of  Matsyasana. 


Physical Benefits

  • Sarvangasana stimulates the thyroid glands. It is good for those suffering from hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland also controls the effectiveness of other hormones. This will help to balance the functions of other endocrine glands.
  • It helps in piles, hydrocele and certain kinds of hernia.
  • It tones the spine, the neck, the intestines, other organs in the abdomen and thorax and the shoulders.
  • It can help to reduce fat around the waist region.
  • Stagnant blood from the lower regions of the body, i.e. legs and abdomen is drained to the heart thereby improving the supply of fresh blood to these parts and the whole circulatory system.
  • The lung capacity is increased as the diaphragm, which is the muscle of respiration, has to work against gravity in this posture, this helps in the abdominal respiration and is therefore helpful in the treatment of asthma.
  • Prevents and cures varicose veins. 
  • The digestive system is greatly improved due to the increase in blood circulation and drainage of stagnant blood. 



  • Start with the supine position, lying on your back in a relaxed way.
  • Let the hands rest on the floor next to the body and breathe normally.
  • Try to raise the legs slowly till the legs are almost 90 degrees to the floor.
  • Now place the hands under the lower back at the waist level. Use the hands and elbows for support to raise your body up further.
  • The breath should be held inside when you are raising the body to the vertical position
  • Use the support of the hands to raise the trunk further up, till the whole body is vertical. At this stage the body weight rests on the shoulders. Hands and elbows remain as props to support and balance the body.
  • In the final pose the body is vertical, 90 degrees to the floor and the chin presses against the chest.
  • Remain in this position according to your comfort. For health benefits 3 – 5 minutes every day is good enough. Though practitioners can go up to 15 minutes for spiritual benefits.
  • Breathe normally while maintaining the steady raised position.
  • While releasing the position, the breath is held inside and the body is slowly brought down to the supine position.



  • It should not be practiced at the time of headache.
  • It should not be performed by people suffering from high blood pressure, heart conditions or brain diseases.
  • It should be avoided during menstruation and pregnancy.
  • It should be avoided if suffering from a very enlarged thyroid, enlarged spleen or liver as well as cervical spondylitis, slipped disc, headache and weak blood vessels in the eyes.





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