Yoga is a practice of asanas for the mind, body and soul. It provides a multitude of benefits for our well-being. Sarvangasana, especially, strengthens our body from the inside and helps in maintaining the mental and physical health of our body.
The term Sarvangasana means the ‘shoulder pose.’ To put it simply, ‘Sarv’ means all, ‘anga’ means body and ‘asana’ means posture, hence the Sarvangasana posture supports the functioning of all parts of our body. This yoga asana requires uS to balance our body and our shoulders, and it is a part of the Padma Sadhana yoga sequence.
How should we perform the Sarvangasana posture?
Sarvangasana or the Shoulder pose has multiple benefits for our body. However, for those who are beginning their journey with this asana, it is recommended that you attempt to learn the posture in parts and then after a few weeks of attempting to try and complete the posture. To perform the Sarvangasana follow the steps mentioned below.
Start the yoga Sarvangasana by simply lying down on your yoga mat with hands by your side.
Next, exhale and lift the heels of your feet in the air until you make a 90-degree shape with your body. Now, try to keep your knees straight and slowly lift the back and buttocks in the air whilst continuing to exhale.
Support your back with your hands and keep holding your legs in the air, breathe normally and try to hold the posture for about 30-60 seconds.
To return to the original posture, inhale and slowly bend your knees and bring your lower back to the ground vertebra by vertebra. Gradually with control, place your feet down, release your hands and settle down in your original position.
What are the precautions to take while practising yoga?
It is important to keep the following steps in mind while practising yoga.
- Sarvangasana yoga requires your head to be down during the initial and final positions of the asanas. While performing the asana, ensure that you are careful and avoid any sudden movements or jerks.
- The exercise should be practised only within a certain duration to avoid straining your body. You can start with 20-30 seconds and end with 5 minutes
- If you are a beginner, it is best to practise the sarvang asana postures in parts, instead of just rushing to do the entire asana in your first attempt.
- It is best to practice the asana, in the presence of an instructor to avoid putting any unwanted pressure on your body.
- If you are an experienced practitioner of this pose, then you can practice it during pregnancy, however, you are fairly new to the postures and do not start the regime when you are pregnant.
- Salamba Sarvangasana is a medium to advanced practice of posture. It is recommended that you practice this in front of instructors if you are fairly new to the asana.
What are some of the tips that are essential for beginners?
To avail the sarvangasana benefits one must remember the following points:
- Try to keep the body in a straight line.
- Try and keep your body balanced.
- While practicing yoga, keep the head straight and look at the toes.
- Try to raise your back correctly, so that your chin rests on the chest.
- Keep the knees straight and look and point your feet towards the sky.
What are some of the benefits of Sarvangasana?
Practising Sarvangasana has a multitude of benefits for our body, some of them are:
- It improves digestion.
- It helps us tone our legs, thighs and buttocks.
- It relieves fatigue and helps fight insomnia.
- It strengthens our shoulders.
- It helps stimulate, prostate glands and thyroid.
- Practising the sarbanga asan, helps relieve stress and mild cases of depression.
- It contributes to self-confidence and makes us self-reliant.
- It improves the flexibility of the spinal cord and has a positive effect on our nerves.
- It helps improve the blood flow to the brain.
- It gives relief against giddiness, headache and constipation.
- Helps improve the blood circulation in the body.
- It improves thyroid health.
- It activates the throat chakra.
- It helps to regularize periods.
Contraindications of Sarvangasana
- One should be careful while practising the asana if you have a thyroid problem, high BP, neck or shoulder injury, menstruation, spondylitis and such issues.
- In such cases, it is always better to consult a physician before starting the routine.
Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many times should Sarvangasana be performed?
Sarvangasana can be practised from 20 seconds to 5 minutes on a premium quality yoga mat for the best results. It can be practised once and also be included along with other yoga asanas. The practise of this asana must not exceed the time limits, or it may cause problems to your body.
2. What are the conditions under which you are not supposed to practice Sarvangasana?
Some conditions to follow when practising the asanas are that you must not perform the asana if you have a high blood pressure problem, periods or a neck injury. You can also avoid it if you have glaucoma or any shoulder or retina problems.
3. Does the Sarvangasana help in reducing belly fat?
Yes, Sarvangasana helps in the overall toning of your body. If performed regularly, it can help reduce belly fat too.
There are plenty of advantages of Sarvangasana. Apart from helping us tone our body, it makes us stronger, strengthens our muscles and gives us a strong core. Sarvangasana benefits are physical, spiritual and even mental. Although the initial practice of the asana may seem daunting, it is proven that with continued practice, practicing Sarvangasana can deliver positive results.
Along with proper exercise, our body also needs hydration and a good night's sleep to stay healthy and avoid getting lethargic. You must sleep for about eight hours on good quality mattresses such as memory foam that provide full support to your back. Water must also be consumed at regular intervals to cleanse our bodies and remain healthy. Good quality water bottles also come with water level indicators and help us stay a step ahead in our fitness journey.
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