With over 84, 000 poses in yoga to choose from for practice, yoga enthusiasts and practitioners might be left confused on just which ones are the most important.
With our daily demands and commitments, most of us might not have the time to perform so many poses therefore we should focus on the one that is of the most benefit for daily practice and that is the Shoulder-Stand (known in Sanskrit as Sarvangasana).
It is my recommended favorite of the inverted poses. Its ease and reminder that as a kid, you tried it before, make it one that I emphasize even more so than the Headstand you might be familiar with as they share almost if not all the same benefits without the fear of standing on your head.
Inverted poses reverse the action of gravity on the body. Instead of everything being pulled towards the feet, the orientation shifts towards the head. On emotional levels, the Shoulder Stand turns everything upside down throwing a new light on old patterns of behavior.
It improves health, reduces stress and anxiety, and increases mental power, and also increases self-confidence. In addition, the abdominal organs, liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, and pancreas receive a powerful massage helping them work better.
In Sanskrit, Sarvanga means all parts so as the name suggests, it affects all the bodily organs. It stimulates the thyroid gland, balancing the circulatory, digestive, nervous, reproductive, and endocrine systems. It is indeed a panacea, a cure-all. Obesity and corpulence are alleviated by this pose as well as constipation and enlargement of the liver and the spleen.
It is best practiced with its counter poses in specific durations for maximal efficiency and when planned correctly, the whole sequence could take less than 6 minutes to carry out, depending on your schedule.
Personally, I make the point as a practitioner to incorporate the sequence into my daily regimen with other forms of exercise, but I always place the most emphasis on this one pose for all the benefits above.
So next time when you are unsure of which pose you have to include in your session when you are on the go, make it a point to go for the Shoulder-Stand. Your body will thank you for it.