Yoga has numerous asanas or poses. However, the main asana – the asana of all asanas – is the sarvangasana. This article will focus on how to execute sarvangasana properly, and how it affects and benefits the entire body.
What is Sarvangasana?
Sarvansagana is the portmanteau of ‘Sarva’ and ‘Anga’. The former literally means ‘the whole’ while the latter means ‘body’ or ‘limb or part’. Basically, Sarvangasana means “the whole body” or “all the limbs”. Sarvangasana is called shoulderstand in English, an inverted version of hatha asana. This asana is called as such since the whole body is said to benefit when it is performed.
How Sarvangasana is Performed?
First, you have to start by laying your back flat on any flat surface. Then, rest your arms on your side with your palms facing downwards. Exhale and then bend your knees, bringing both upwards and towards your chin. Your thigh should press your stomach though you have to breathe normally.
Upon exhaling, support your buttocks with your both hands. Raise your trunk until it is perpendicularly positioned to the surface. Now that your body is being supported by the back part of your head, your neck, shoulders and the hind part of your arms should be upwards to your elbows.
In pushing the trunks into a vertical position, you have to move your hands toward your waist in a gradual motion with your head continually resting on the surface. In this way, your trunk will become perpendicular to your head. You will know that it is in its correct perpendicular position when your chin is already touching your chest.
Afterwards, raise your legs, making them vertical and in proportion to your trunk. Your toes should be pointing upwards. Breathe normally in an even and calm motion. Stay in this position for 1-3 minutes if you can, and you should feel how your body is reacting.
In releasing the pose, you have to move both legs downwards gently. Next, release your hands, letting your body in the flat position again. Alternatively, you may bring your legs down with the knees approaching your ears prior to bringing your both legs down gradually.
When doing Sarvangasa, be gentle to your body. Make sure that you are not applying too much stress and you are breathing normally.
What are The Benefits of Sarvangasana?
Sarvangasana has many benefits. Savangasana basically improves blood circulation, reduces blood impurities, directs oxygen to the lungs, and strengthens the thyroid glands among others. Sarvangasana also helps in controlling and curing genital-related diseases, constipation, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. Other areas that Sarvangasana is proven to be beneficial are common cold, hernia, nasal disturbances, and hypertension as well as irritability and sleeplessness.
Evidently, it is no wonder why Sarvangasana is considered the mother of all asanas. Sarvangasana can do so much that all of the benefits of all asanas combined cannot even equal to what Sarvangasana can do. Perhaps, the proper term is holistic since it involves and benefits the entire body.