10 Easy Steps to Salamba Sarvangasana - Supported Shoulderstand

Learning Shoulderstand   To safely and comfortably practice shoulder stand we need to open and prepare the chest and shoulders. Here is a sequence to give you lift off in your shoulderstand.  Props: block, strap & blanket (improvise using books, belts etc.)  This sequence will open and stretch your upper chest and armpits, encourage external rotation in your upper arms & create freedom of movement in your shoulders. As you practice you will begin to feel your chest expanding and your breath flow increasing. This will allow you to lift off into shoulderstand with a buoyancy and ease, leaving you free to enjoy being upside down.  As you practice don’t forget to keep your breath moving steadily through your nose. Let your breathing guide your practice and rest as often as you need to. Remember yoga is not about the destination but all about the journey.  Enjoy!

Learning Shoulderstand

To safely and comfortably practice shoulder stand we need to open and prepare the chest and shoulders. Here is a sequence to give you lift off in your shoulderstand.

Props: block, strap & blanket (improvise using books, belts etc.)

This sequence will open and stretch your upper chest and armpits, encourage external rotation in your upper arms & create freedom of movement in your shoulders. As you practice you will begin to feel your chest expanding and your breath flow increasing. This will allow you to lift off into shoulderstand with a buoyancy and ease, leaving you free to enjoy being upside down.

As you practice don’t forget to keep your breath moving steadily through your nose. Let your breathing guide your practice and rest as often as you need to. Remember yoga is not about the destination but all about the journey.

Enjoy!

Supported Chest Opener  Lie over a block placed horizontally directly below your shoulder blades, supporting your head on a folded blanket. Reach your arms overhead holding onto opposite elbows. Hold for 2-3 minutes.

Supported Chest Opener

Lie over a block placed horizontally directly below your shoulder blades, supporting your head on a folded blanket. Reach your arms overhead holding onto opposite elbows. Hold for 2-3 minutes.

Dolphin Pose  From tabletop take your forearms to the floor, elbows in line with your shoulders. Lift your knees off the floor. Begin to move your shoulders directly above the elbows and send your chest towards your thighs. Externally rotate your arms by lifting your inner arms up and around towards your outer arms. Hold for up to 1 min, release knees and rest in child’s pose.  Repeat 3 times.

Dolphin Pose

From tabletop take your forearms to the floor, elbows in line with your shoulders. Lift your knees off the floor. Begin to move your shoulders directly above the elbows and send your chest towards your thighs. Externally rotate your arms by lifting your inner arms up and around towards your outer arms. Hold for up to 1 min, release knees and rest in child’s pose.

Repeat 3 times.

Gomukhasana  Sitting in hero’s pose, knees together and feet outside your hips, place a block beneath your sitting bones. Stretch your right arm overhead, bend through the elbow bringing your hand down at the back of the head between the shoulder blades. Grab the elbow with your left arm. Stay here for a few breaths, and if available reach your left arm out to the side, palm facing back; then take your arm behind you. Slide the forearm up your back, monkey grip the fingers our use a strap if you can’t reach. Hold for 1 min then repeat on the other side.

Gomukhasana

Sitting in hero’s pose, knees together and feet outside your hips, place a block beneath your sitting bones. Stretch your right arm overhead, bend through the elbow bringing your hand down at the back of the head between the shoulder blades. Grab the elbow with your left arm. Stay here for a few breaths, and if available reach your left arm out to the side, palm facing back; then take your arm behind you. Slide the forearm up your back, monkey grip the fingers our use a strap if you can’t reach. Hold for 1 min then repeat on the other side.

Garudasana  Stretch your legs for a moment and then return to Hero’s pose. Extend your arms out in front of you, moving your shoulder blades away from each other. Cross the arms above the elbows, bend the elbows reaching the palms together, and twisting again at the wrists. Lift the elbows and hold for 1 min. Repeat on the other side.

Garudasana

Stretch your legs for a moment and then return to Hero’s pose. Extend your arms out in front of you, moving your shoulder blades away from each other. Cross the arms above the elbows, bend the elbows reaching the palms together, and twisting again at the wrists. Lift the elbows and hold for 1 min. Repeat on the other side.

Purvottanasana  Sitting with your knees bent, feet hips distance place your palms flat behind your buttocks, fingers facing forward. Pressing through your hands and feet scoop your hips high, taking the torso and thighs into one diagonal line. Lengthen your tailbone towards the back of your knees. Keep your chin slightly tucked, widen your shoulder blades and feel expansion across your chest. Hold for 1 min.  Repeat x 3

Purvottanasana

Sitting with your knees bent, feet hips distance place your palms flat behind your buttocks, fingers facing forward. Pressing through your hands and feet scoop your hips high, taking the torso and thighs into one diagonal line. Lengthen your tailbone towards the back of your knees. Keep your chin slightly tucked, widen your shoulder blades and feel expansion across your chest. Hold for 1 min.

Repeat x 3

Salamba Setu Banda Sarvangasana  Lie on your back, knees bent, feet and knees hips distance apart. Straighten the arms by the sides reaching the fingertips to almost touch the heels. Lift your lower torso off the floor and place a block, at your preferred height under your sacrum. Be sure your lower back is free of compression and stay for 2-3 minutes.

Salamba Setu Banda Sarvangasana

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet and knees hips distance apart. Straighten the arms by the sides reaching the fingertips to almost touch the heels. Lift your lower torso off the floor and place a block, at your preferred height under your sacrum. Be sure your lower back is free of compression and stay for 2-3 minutes.

Taking a second round, this time remove the block and interlace the hands behind the back. Draw the shoulder blades in, lifting through the chest, pressing the outer edges of the baby fingers into the mat. Hold for 2-3 minutes.

Taking a second round, this time remove the block and interlace the hands behind the back. Draw the shoulder blades in, lifting through the chest, pressing the outer edges of the baby fingers into the mat. Hold for 2-3 minutes.

Salamba Sarvangasana - prep  Place your folded blanket 1 hand width away from the wall, folded edge away from the wall. Lie against the wall, legs raised up against the wall, buttocks resting on the floor ideally touching the wall.

Salamba Sarvangasana - prep

Place your folded blanket 1 hand width away from the wall, folded edge away from the wall. Lie against the wall, legs raised up against the wall, buttocks resting on the floor ideally touching the wall.

Take soles of feet to the wall, bend knees and work the hips upward. Place palms onto back fingers pointing towards buttocks. Work elbows in towards each other.

Take soles of feet to the wall, bend knees and work the hips upward. Place palms onto back fingers pointing towards buttocks. Work elbows in towards each other.

Salamba Sarvangasana  Once secure lift legs towards the ceiling. Hold shoulderstand as long as feels comfortable. (Do not turn head)  To release: remove hands, gently roll down and hug knees into the chest.

Salamba Sarvangasana

Once secure lift legs towards the ceiling. Hold shoulderstand as long as feels comfortable. (Do not turn head)

To release: remove hands, gently roll down and hug knees into the chest.

Matsyasana  Lie on your back with knees bent. Raise the buttocks and slide your hands, palm facing down, under the body. Release back down on hands and straighten the legs. Inhale coming onto the elbows and lift the chest, the back of the head stays in contact with the floor. Take 5-6 breaths opening and closing your mouth to stretch the throat. Release and hug knees to the chest.

Matsyasana

Lie on your back with knees bent. Raise the buttocks and slide your hands, palm facing down, under the body. Release back down on hands and straighten the legs. Inhale coming onto the elbows and lift the chest, the back of the head stays in contact with the floor. Take 5-6 breaths opening and closing your mouth to stretch the throat. Release and hug knees to the chest.

Easy Twist  With the knees into the chest release arms to a T shape. Drop knees to right side and look over to left. Breathe deeply relaxing into twist for 2 minutes and repeat on other side.

Easy Twist

With the knees into the chest release arms to a T shape. Drop knees to right side and look over to left. Breathe deeply relaxing into twist for 2 minutes and repeat on other side.

Savasana  It is important to consciously relax after your yoga practice to rest both the body and the mind. Allow yourself to stay for at least 5-10min, longer if you are feeling stressed or low in energy.  Corpse pose will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.  Namaste.

Savasana

It is important to consciously relax after your yoga practice to rest both the body and the mind. Allow yourself to stay for at least 5-10min, longer if you are feeling stressed or low in energy.

Corpse pose will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Namaste.