66. Sarvangasana (Shoulders Stand)

In Sanskrit “Sarva” means “All of every”, “Anga” means “Limb”, “Asana” means “Pose”.  The English name of this asana is “All limbs pose”. However this pose is commonly referred to as “Shoulder Stand”.

Position : Supine

Type : Inversion

Spiritual Awareness : Vishuddhi chakra
Physical Awareness : Neck, legs, shoulders, spine, breath.

Dosha Suitability : Pita, Kapha

Introducery Asanas : Vipareeta Karani Asana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Supta Virasana


  1. Lie flat on your back with legs and feet together in a straight line. Hands and norms close to the body, palms down. (Use a folded blanket necessary.)
  2. Relax your whole body. Eyes are closed.
  3. Inhale, contract the abdominal muscles slowly raise the legs to a vertical position keeping them straight and together.
  4. Press down on the arms and hands, and slowly raise the buttocks and the spine off the floor, raising the torso to a vertical position.
  5. Turn the palms of the hands upwards, bend the elbows and place the hands behind the ribcage, slightly away from the spine to support the back. Elbows should be shoulder width apart.
  6. Gently push the chest forward so that it presses firmly against the chin.
  7. In the final position, the legs are vertical, together and in a straight line with the torso. The body is supported by the shoulders, nape of the neck and back of the head. The arms provide stability, the chest rests against the chin, and feet are relaxed.
  8. Eyes are closed, face and body are relaxed. Remain in this position for as long as possible up to 5 minutes.
  9. To return to starting position bring the legs behind the head so that the feet are above the head, bring the legs straight, gently palce your arms and hands on the floor, close to the body, palms down.
  10. Exhale, slowly, lower the spine, vertebra by vertebra to the floor, followed by your buttocks. Do not lift your head.
  11. Once buttocks have reached the floor, lower the legs keeping them straight.
  12. Perform this action without using support of the arms. The whole movement should combine balance with control of back and abdominal muscles.
  13. Relax in Shavasana.

Follow-up Asana:

  1. Halasana
  2. Matsyasana

Spotlight effects:  

Neck, shoulders, spine, and breath.

Physical Benefits: 

  1. Stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands and normalizes their functions.
  2. Strengthens the arms and shoulders and keeps the spine flexible.
  3. Stimulates the prostate gland.
  4. Stimulates the abdominal organs.
  5. Stretches the shoulders and neck.
  6. Tones the legs and buttocks.
  7. Nourishes brain with more blood.
  8. Stretches brain with more blood.
  9. Calms the brain.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  1. Relieves stress and mild depression.
  2. Improves digestion.
  3. Brings relief from constipation and varicose veins.
  4. Helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause.
  5. Reduces fatigue and alleviates insomnia.
  6. Therapeutic for asthma, infertility and sinusitis.

Precautions and Contraindications:

  1. Avoid if suffering from enlarged thyroid, liver, or spleen.
  2. Cervical spondylitis.
  3. Slipped disc.
  4. Heart ailments.
  5. Weak blood vessels in the eyes.
  6. Advanced stages of pregnancy.
  7. Heavy menstruation.