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Table of Contents:

2. Shoulderstand Pose Benefits


Shoulderstand pose, also named Salamba Sarvangasana in Sanskrit, is often the first inversion you will take in a yoga class. This asana has been called the 'queen of asanas'.


  1. Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your arms next to your body with your palms down.

  2. When you feel ready, pull your knees in toward your chest and press your hands flat down next to your hips.

  3. Take a deep breath in and press your hands down the floor. On your next exhale, engage your core to lift your hips and bring your legs over your head. Roll on your upper back, bringing your weight towards your upper back and shoulders.

  4. Bend your elbows and place the palms of your hands as high as you can on your lower back with your fingertips facing up for support.

  5. Draw your elbows in towards each other and walk your hands up towards your upper back to lift your spine off the floor.

  6. Lengthen your neck keeping your chin away from your chest and start to stretch your legs up towards the ceiling.

  7. Draw your shoulder blades in towards each other and keep walking your hands up towards your upper back.

  8. Keep your gaze upward and your neck straight.

  9. Draw your feet together, firm your inner thighs then draw your navel and ribs inward.

· Hold for 10 breaths.

· To come out of this pose, lower your legs back over your head towards the floor. Then roll your spine slowly and carefully back to the floor (with knees bent if you prefer).


This pose:

✨ Stretches neck and shoulders.

✨ Strengthens core.

✨ Decreases lower back pain

✨ Improves digestion, sleep, calms nerves

✨ Reduces fatigue, anxiety,

✨ Increases energy.

✨Relieves stiffness in shoulders


➡️ Hold on to your hips and open your elbows to the side, way wider than your shoulders

➡️ Rounding too much your neck and bringing your chin in towards your chest

➡️ Turn your head and look around


If Shoulderstand Pose is too hard for you to perform safely, try these 5 variations to realize on your mat instead:

1/ If you can't find the strength or balance to lift your legs up towards the ceiling, keep them bent at 45° over your head.

2/ If you don’t feel confident enough or don’t want to perform this pose fully yet, come into Supported Shoulderstand Pose using a block or two underneath your sacrum and lift your legs up towards the ceiling.

3/ Another variation of this Supported Shoulderstand Pose is to perform it against a wall.

4/ You can also use the wall to literally walk in Shoulderstand Pose.

5/ If you feel too much strain on your neck, place a folded blanket under your shoulders and repeat the step by step instructions to go into Shoulderstand Pose.


From your Shoulderstand Pose, lower down your legs extended over your head and try to touch the floor with your toes. If your toes are touching the floor, you can release your back with your hands and keep walking your toes towards the back.

And if you can/want to go further, draw your knees bent to your ears and wrap your arms around your legs.

Now it's your turn and let me know in the comments section below how it was for you!


Shoulderstand Pose is is often the first inversion you will take in a yoga class because it's more stable and less impressive than Headstand or Handstand poses but that doesn't mean it's a very easy pose to go into and perform. Take your time, follow the instructions carefully and don't hurt yourself.

Below I have selected a few asanas that can help you develop the flexibility, strength and confidence needed to perform Shoulderstand Pose:

◼️Top left corner: Boat Pose - Navasana

◼️Top center: Upward Plank Pose – Purvottanasana

◼️Top right corner: Bow pose - Dhanurasana

◼️Center-right: Plow Pose - Halasana

◼️Lower right corner: Seated Spinal Twist - Ardha Matsyendrasana

◼️Lower center: Bridge Pose - Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

◼️Lower left corner: Triangle Pose with Half Bind - Ardha Baddha Trikonasana

◼️Center-left: Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend – Prasarita Padottanasana

◼️Center: Shoulderstand Pose - Salamba Sarvangasana


➡️ You can stay in each of these poses for 10 breaths before moving on to the next. And don't forget to repeat on the other leg or side if applies.

➡️ You can use blocks, books, blanket or any kind of supports to help you in each of these poses.

➡️ This asana requires flexibility and strength to perform. Be patient, gentle in

your movements and listen to your body.

Come on your mat, enjoy this mini sequence and share your practice.

And if you have a bit of time, let me know in the comments section below how this practice was for you, I cannot wait to know and to read you!

With love,

Anne Po.

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