Shoulder stand: the Mother of asanas! The benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana are undeniable, but at the same time not everyone should practice this pose. If you recall from my post ‘One Size Does Not Fit All’ I talk about how many people may have more than one condition at a time and although a pose is good for treating one of their conditions it may be contraindicated for another. For example, while shoulder stand is great for reducing breathlessness for an individual it may at the same time be discouraged if that same person has *high blood pressure. Make sure you talk to a healthcare professional about whether or not this is a pose for you. If you are a beginner to this pose I highly recommend practicing this pose in private sessions until you get a grasp of it. There are so many factors that are important in shoulder stand!
Now on to the benefits! Salamba Sarvangasana nourishes the thyroid gland which: regulates the body’s metabolism, controls the heart rate and balances the digestive and nervous system among other things. This asana tones the legs and abdomen increasing circulation to those areas. It massages the abdominal organs and it relieves stress. Because of the enriched blood flow to the brain it also relieves emotional and mental stress, headaches and it is very tranquilizing. The longer you hold this asana the more you get out of it.
*It is recommended that individuals with high blood pressure not practice this pose unless they are able to hold Halasana (Plow Pose) for at least three minutes.
Here is a full list of the 37 benefits of Shoulder Stand or Preperation for Shoulder Stand:
• Boosts the immune system
• Relieves stress, nervous disorders and fatigue
• Alleviates hypertension and insomnia
• Reduces palpitations and breathlessness
• Improves the functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid glands
• Relieves cervical spondylosis and shoulder pain
• Re-aligns misaligned shoulders
• Helps to treat colds and sinus blockages
• Regulates blood pressure
• Relieves bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, congestion and throat ailments
• Prevents varicose veins
• Alleviates ulcers, colitis, chronic constipation and hemorroids
• Reduces menstrual cramps and helps regulate menstrual flow (practice between periods)
• Alleviates chronic headaches – migraines or tension headaches (practice between headaches)
• Helps to treat prolapsed uterus and reduce uterine fibroids
• Relieves congestion and heaviness in the ovaries and helps to treat ovarian cysts
• Alleviates urinary disorders
• Helps to treat hernia
• Restores lost vitality after a long or short term illness