Monday, November 1, 2010

Standing in Sarvangasana

November Pose of the Month

The Sanskrit for Shoulder Stand, Sarvangasana, translates to “whole body” or “full-limbed” – and this is a pose that lives up to its name. It provides a good stretch for the head and neck, tones the legs and abdominals, promotes good circulation, strengthens the upper-back while relieving low-back pain, helps calm the nervous system and refresh the brain. Sarvangasana benefits the entire body by incorporating a little bit of everything – relaxation, inversion and revitalization – in one posture.

This November, as the holiday season approaches, let Shoulder Stand take some of the pressure off, relieve stress and refresh you. This pose also helps stimulate the thyroid gland to aid in digestion – Sarvangasana on Thanksgiving anyone?

Benefits of the pose include but are not limited to:

 • Relieves fatigue and helps to promote deep, restful sleep.

• Good for metabolism – helps the thyroid gland function more efficiently.

• Provides nutrient rich blood to brain.

• Benefits people with constipation, indigestion and asthma.

• Increases blood flow to aid headaches, congestion and sore throats.

How to:

1. Lie down with your back on a yoga mat. Arms rest by your side, palms flat on the mat.

2. Lift your hips off the floor and bring your legs up, over your head. Toes touch the mat above your head.

3. Straighten your spine, bend at the elbows and place your hands against your upper back - as near as possible to the shoulder blades.

4. Push your back upwards with your hands. Rest your weight on the back side of the shoulders. See to it that you do not bend the upper back and the chest.

5. Lift up your legs, one at a time. The pelvis is stacked straight over your back and hands.

6. Breathe deeply and find your balance – moving hands closer to shoulder blades to work towards straightening.

7. Hold for at least 30 seconds - or as long as comfortable.

8. When finished. Slowly bring your legs back to the mat over-head, one by one, stretch out your arms by your sides and slowly roll your back downward.

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