After the headstand comes Sarvangasana (Sanskrit: सर्वाङ्गासन), the Sanskrit name for the shoulderstand, comes from the word “sarva”, meaning whole. This asana strengthens your entire body; it gives many of the benefits of the Headstand, but here the circulation is directed to your thyroid gland instead of the head and it gives a great stimulation to your metabolism. It’s an inverted pose, with your body resting on your shoulders.
Objective: To stretch your cervical and thoracic regions.
=> Check out this short tutorial video of Sarvangasana followed by Halasana:
STEP 1 – LEGS IN THE AIR
Before beginning the Shoulderstand, make sure that there is enough room behind you. You must be able to stretch your arms out behind your head and have at least 30 cm between your fingertips and any obstructions. Lie flat on your back, with your feet together, keep you chin slightly towards the chest to keep your neck flat on the floor. Inhale while bringing your legs straight up to a 90° angle.
STEP 2 – MOVING UP
Press your arms and hands down into the mat and gently lift your hips and your lower back of the floor, keeping the legs straight. Put your hands on your lower back, keep them parallel to your spin and your fingers pointing towards your buttocks.
STEP 3 – IN BALANCE
Continue to move your hands up your back until you rest on your shoulders. Breathe normally, and keep your legs straight pointing up to the sky. Hold for 30 seconds; as the pose becomes easier, increase the time to 3 minutes. To come down, drop your feet halfway to the floor behind your head. Put your hands and arms on the floor to use as a break. Unroll your body vertebra by vertebra to the floor. Then lower the legs straight back down on the floor.
ADJUSTING THE POSTURE: in order to get your spine completely straight and your hips on top of your shoulders while in the pose, gently bend your knees and lower them to your forehead. Then bring your elbows as close together as possible behind your back and place your hands more up towards your middle back or shoulderblades whilst keeping the upper arms and elbows firmly pressed into the mat. Then straighten the legs and lift them up towards the sky.
Inhale with your hands on your back. Exhale and bring one foot to the floor behind your head. Inhale. Raise your leg. Swap sides.
ATTENTION: Make sure to NOT move your head in the posture.
Continue with the plough pose – HALASANA.