Shoulderstand is such an important pose with so many benefits that it is referred to in many yoga traditions as the “Queen” of all yoga postures.
Shoulderstand stretches the neck and shoulders while toning the legs, buttocks, back, and abdominal muscles.
How to do the pose:
- Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms down. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
- On an inhalation, use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs and hips off the floor. Curl your torso and bring your knees in toward your face. Then, lift your hips and bring your torso perpendicular to the floor.
- Bend your elbows and place your hands on your lower back with your fingertips pointing up toward the ceiling. Keep your elbows on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Do not let your elbows splay out to the sides.
- When you are comfortable, lift your thighs so they are vertical to the floor, keeping your knees bent. Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone. Then, straighten your legs fully and reach your feet up to the ceiling. Lift through the balls of your feet.
- Try to bring your shoulders, hips, and feet into one line.
- Keep your head and neck in line with your spine and do not turn your head. Draw your shoulder blades firmly into your upper back. Keep a space between your chin and chest, and soften your throat. Gaze toward your chest.
- Hold the pose for 10-25 breaths. More advanced practitioners can hold the pose for five minutes or longer. To release the pose, slowly lower your feet back to the ground, with your hands supporting your back. Then, release your hands to your sides and slowly roll down.
- Stimulated thyroid and prostate glands
- Stimulated abdominal organs
- Improved digestion
- Relief from excess phlegm and mucus
- Reduced fatigue
- Relief from insomnia, asthma, infertility, sinusitis, and the symptoms of menopause
As with all inversions in yoga, the flow of blood to the brain in Shoulderstand helps calm the mind, relieving stress, and mild depression. It also helps to improve memory and concentration. This pose will provide a boost of positive energy to your body, mind, and emotions. Regular practice of Shoulderstand can help you feel refreshed and renewed every day!