This weeks fun pose Friday pose is Supported Shoulder Stand or Salamba Sarvangasana.

sah-LOM-bah sar-van-GAHS-anna)
salamba = with support (sa = with
alamba = support)
sarva = all
anga = limb.

With the help of Yoga Journal— here’s how to get into it:

Step by Step

  •  Lay down on your back with your arms on the floor alongside your torso, then bend your knees and set your feet against the floor with the heels close to the sitting bones. Exhale, press your arms against the floor, and push your feet away from the floor, drawing your thighs into the front torso.
  •  Continue to lift by curling the pelvis and then the back torso away from the floor, so that your knees come toward your face. Stretch your arms out parallel to the edge of the blanket and turn them outward so the fingers press against the floor (and the thumbs point behind you). Bend your elbows and draw them toward each other. Lay the backs of your upper arms on your mat and spread your palms against the back of your torso. Raise your pelvis over the shoulders, so that the torso is relatively perpendicular to the floor. Walk your hands up your back (toward the floor) without letting the elbows slide too much wider than shoulder width.
  • Inhale and lift your bent knees toward the ceiling, bringing your thighs in line with your torso and hanging the heels down by your butt. Press your tailbone toward your pubis and turn the upper thighs inward slightly. Finally inhale and straighten the knees, pressing the heels up toward the ceiling. When the backs of the legs are fully lengthened, lift through the balls of the big toes so the inner legs are slightly longer than the outer.
  •  Soften the throat and tongue. Firm the shoulder blades against the back, and move the sternum toward the chin. Your forehead should be relatively parallel to the floor, your chin perpendicular. Press the backs of your upper arms and the tops of your shoulders actively into the mat support, and try to lift the upper spine away from the floor.
  •  As a beginning practitioner stay in the pose for about 30 seconds. Gradually add 5 to 10 seconds to your stay every day or so until you can comfortably hold the pose for 3 minutes. Then continue for 3 minutes each day for a week or two, until you feel relatively comfortable in the pose. Again gradually and 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay every day or so until you can comfortably hold the pose for 5 minutes. To come down, exhale, bend your knees into your torso again, and roll your back torso slowly and carefully onto the floor, keeping the back of your head on the floor.

Some benefits of Supported Shoulder Stand:

  • Gets the thyroid gland functioning more efficiently–the thyroid is the gland responsible for managing your metabolism.
  • Promotes good circulation to brain.
  • Provides a great stretch for the neck and upper back.
  • Is beneficial to people with constipation, indigestion and asthma.
  • Benefits women suffering form painful menstruation.
  • Increases blood flow to the brain–therefore helps headaches, congestion and sore throats
  • Stretches the spine, keeping it long and strong.
  • Tones the legs and abdominals.

Enjoy and see you on the mat!