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Supported Shoulderstand Pose / Salamba Sarvangasana

Yoga pose: Supported Shoulderstand Pose/Salamba Sarvangasana
Step by Step
  • Lie on your back with your upper back on a sturdy folded blanket, your head is resting on the mat, so the blanket ends in the hollow of the neck. Function of the blanket is to decrease the stretch in the back of the neck, and to keep the back of the neck from flattening/stretching too much.
  • Legs are outstretched, or if your stomach muscles are a bit weak you can have your knees bend. Arms are next to your body with the palms down.
  • On an outbreath you push your lower back into the floor and on an in- breath you lift your legs up, while you press your arms and palms in the floor. Sweep your legs over your head and use that momentum to curl the hips and let them come of the floor too. You're rolling on your back, bringing the weight towards the upper back and head.
  • Bend your elbows to place your palms on you back to help support the body up.
  • Stretch your legs up towards the ceiling. Now you are balancing on the back of your head and the 2 elbows. Draw your elbow in towards eachother, and walk your hands up your back, towards the upper back to help lift as much of your spine of the floor as possible.
  • Most important is to have a straight back, to firm the upper back into your chest. If you notice that with the legs straight up to the ceiling your upper back rounds, you can lower your legs more towards the floor over your head, and that will help you to straighten the back, open your chest and draw the shoulderblades in. Beginners can stay there.
  • When the legs are straight, firm the tailbone towards your pubis and slightly roll the thighs towards eachother. Bring your feet over your hips. To protect your neck the weight is more on the arms. Move your thighs a little away from your face, so there is not too much pressure on the back of your neck.
  • Relax your face and throat, gaze at your chest and breathe in your belly.
  • You can start staying 30 sec in this pose, adding 10 sec everyday until you build up to 3-5 minutes.
  • To come out, you lower the legs to the floor till you have an angle of 45 degrees. Then you roll your spine slowly and carefully back on the floor, beginners with their knees bend, eventually placing their feet on the floor. Experienced students can keep their legs straight, and they lower their legs to the floor, you could lift your head if that feels better to your back.
  • Queen of the yoga-asanas
  • Stretches the shoulders and neck
  • Cooling, calming, quiets the nervous system
  • Reduces fluid retention in the legs and feet
  • Regulates and normalizes elimination
  • The thyroid and para-thyroid are nourished with blood
  • Reduces fatigue and can help you improve your sleep
  • Improves digestion
Try in Class

Fundamentals of yoga: inversions - for members only

Yoga fundamentals: Inversions

Teacher: Adela Serrano
Level: All Levels
Style: Vinyasa Flow, Hatha
Duration: 45 mins

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