ShoulderStand | Sarvangasana | Shoulderstand Pose in Yoga


shoulder stand

Shoulderstand, also known as Candle Pose, is often called the 'Queen of Asanas'. Together with the Headstand Pose, this is one of the most important Hatha Yoga poses because of the numerous benefits of these poses on both the body and the mind. Shoulder Stand, also known as Salamba Sarvangasana in some yoga traditions, is a challenging introductory pose. The pose is an inversion, meaning you're spending a lot of time upside down, where the heart and hips are above the head.

"Sarvangasana, as the shoulderstand is called in Sanskrit, means 

"the pose for the whole body."


Shoulder stand belongs to the group of inverted poses -  those poses where the head is downwards and the legs upwards. It increases oxygen intake and facilitate the blood's return flow to the heart. It also increases blood supply to the brain gives nourishment and oxygen to the cells and tissues.


Shoulderstand is so special while the body is inverted. The throat and the head are bent in the so-called chin lock. This raises the blood supply to the entire upper part of the body and stimulated the glands in that area, in particular the thyroid gland in the throat, which has to do with the hormonal balance and the cells metabolism. A healthy thyroid gland leads to healthy functioning of the body's organs and blood circulation.

For cold infection, the shoulderstand can alleviate the symptoms and accelerate the healing process.


  • cooling, calming, quietens the nervous system
  • stretches the shoulders and neck
  • it stimulates your thyroid and parathyroid glands, improving their overall functioning and therefore it balancing the metabolism, digestion and insulin production
  • it slows down your heart rate and lowers blood pressure
  • improves digestion and cures constipation as it releases
  •  gravitational compression on the colon
  • strengthens the deep-core muscles, legs, buttocks and lower back
  • increases upper-body and arm strength
  • reduces fatigue and can help you to improve your sleep

  • lie down on the back, with your feet together and arms next to your body
  • keeping your head and neck on the floor, breath in as you lift both legs to 90 degrees
  • as you lift your hips up toward the ceiling, place your hands on to your hips and walk your hands up toward your shoulder blades
  • lift your hips up as high as you can, bringing your chest toward your chin
  • keep your back supported with your hands and make sure that your feet end up straight above your head
  • breathe slowly in this position and focus on the throat region

  • slowly drop your feet towards your head and place your hands on the floor, keep your head on the floor, and slowly roll out of the pose

  • try to straighten the back as much as possible. Bring your hands, closer to your shoulders and your elbows a little closer to each other
  • make sure that your feet are right above your head, with most of the weight on your shoulders
  • keep your legs and feet relaxed and hold the pose
  • to accomplish this, draw your shoulder bladed toward each other, creating an arch in your neck

  • Beginners : 30 seconds  -  1 minute
  • Intermediate : 1 - 3 minutes
  • Advanced : 3 - 6 minutes

  • if you struggle to hold the pose, you can use the wall or chair as support
  • bring the legs into Lotus position while in Shoulderstand for Padma Sarvangasana


  • Shoulderstand does not suit all body types because of the angle of the neck
  • Please take these precautions into consideration when practicing Shoulderstand. Avoid the pose or seek a qualified, experienced yoga teacher to help if you have:
  • cardiovascular issues
  • neck issues
  • shoulder issues
  • arthritis
  • brain injuries
  • spinal issues
  • acute migraine or headache
  • asthma or recent surgery

similar poses,

bow pose

camel pose


garland pose

cat pose

cow pose yoga

cobra pose

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