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Three Reasons to Avoid Shoulderstand

Posted on May 22 2018

Shoulderstand – (Sarvangasana)

“Healthy thyroid means healthy functioning of all the organs of the body”

Shoulderstand is called the Queen of all asanas as it benefits the whole body.  It is a forward-bending posture engaging all parts of the body and stretching the shoulders, neck and upper back.  In the Shoulderstand, the whole body is supported by the hands, arms, and shoulders.  As the body is inverted the blood flows to the heart without any strain by force of the gravity.

The Shoulderstand nourishes the thyroid gland which: regulates the body’s metabolism, controls the heart rate, promotes overall growth, and balances the digestive and nervous system.  This asana tones the legs and abdomen increasing circulation to those areas.  It massages the abdominal organs and it relieves stress.  Because of the enriched blood flow to the brain, it also relieves emotional and mental stress, headaches, and it is very tranquilizing.

However, there are three important reasons you should not do Shoulderstand:

  1. If you have High Blood Pressure this posture is better to avoid.
  2. Anyone who has Cervical Spondylitis should not attempt to practice this pose because as you hold the pose the weight of the body is taken through the neck.
  3. If you have Glaucoma or Detached Retina please, avoid the Shoulderstand as it could worsen the condition.

When you are in the Shoulderstand there will be a sensation of extra pressure and tension in the neck because of the severe flexion of the neck.  Your eyes, ears, and face may also experience an increased sensation of pressure.

During Shoulderstand, the expansion of the chest is restricted leading to breathing at the rate of not less than eight breaths per minute, and in many cases up to twenty breaths per minute.

During the holding of this posture, the blood pressure in the brain will be an average of 110mmHg.

Issued in the interest of people practicing Hatha Yoga by Subodh Gupta, Yoga Expert based in London.

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