Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Breakdown meaning:
salamba=with support (sa=with, alamba=support)

(please click above for music)

How to get in and out of this asana:
1. Lie on the floor, with arms alongside the body.
2. Bend the knees with feet on the floor with heels near the sitting bones. Press the arms into the floor and push feet away from the floor, bringing the thighs into the torso.
3. Lift by curling the back away from the floor and bringing the knees up into the face. Stretch the arms out, turning the palms outward and pressing against the floor.
4. Bend the elbows and draw them together. With the upper arms pushing into the ground, spread the hands against the back. Bring the pelvis over the shoulders, so that the body should be perpendicular with the ground. Slowly bring the hands down the back towards the shoulders but avoid letting the elbows slide out too widely.
5. Lift the bent knees to the ceiling, bringing the thighs in line with the torso. While pressing the tailbone down and turning the thighs in, straighten the legs. Press the heels and balls of the feet up to the ceiling.
6. To come out of the pose, bend the knees into the torso and roll out carefully onto the floor, with the back of the head on the floor at all times.

Physical Benefits:
•Improved digestion and pancreatic secretion
•Strengthens the upper arm, shoulder, thigh, and neck muscles•Improves liver and kidney health
•Prevents fat accumulation around waist and hips
•Prevents premature aging
•Relieves urinary disorders
•Beneficial for weight loss

Mental Benefits:
•Helps to cure insomnia
•Improves circulation and mental activity
•Relieves lethargy and mental sluggishness•Helps to overcome anxiety and depression

Awareness in Asana:
•Contracting the ab muscles to gain stability in the asana
•Feeling the blood flow when the body is upside down
•Active feet and leg muscles contracted