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Yoga Poses: Supported Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)

Resources, Yoga

Yoga Poses: Supported Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)

The Supported Shoulder Stand Pose or the Salamba Sarvangasana is said to be the queen of all Yoga poses. Salamba means with support and Sarvanga means all the body or limbs. It is a good pose for the whole body and system.

It is a good inversion pose and stretches the shoulders and neck. Also, it is said to be beneficial in cooling down the nervous system.

Health Benefits

The supported shoulder stand pose stimulates the thyroid and prostate glands and abdominal organs. It is helpful in toning the legs and buttocks and reduces fluid retention in the legs and feet. It helps to regulate and normalize bowels.

This pose improves digestion and eases the strain on the heart. It strengthens the immune system and helps in relief from common cold. Performing this pose derives a lot of benefit to the nervous system and increases self-confidence. This pose is a good stress buster and fatigue reliever and helps sleep better.

Getting into pose

What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Initial Position: Supine

Drishti or Gaze: Forward


  1. Begin by getting into the supine position (lying on your back). Make use of a thick blanket and keep it in the hollow of your neck. Keep your arms to your sides and your palms facing down.
  2. Exhale on a count of 2 and push your lower back onto the floor. Inhale on a count of 2 and lift up your legs pressing your arms and palms in the floor. Sweep your legs over your head. Using that momentum, curl the hips and allow them to come off the floor. Roll on your back bringing the weight towards the upper back and head.
  3. Support your body up by bending your elbows and placing your palms on your back for a push.
  4. Stretch your legs straight up towards the ceiling balancing the body on the back of your head and both elbows.
  5. Relax, look at your chest and breathe in your belly.
  6. Stay in the pose for half a minute and keep adding seconds (till you reach at least 3 minutes) as you practice it more and more.

Relax in Crocodile pose if you feel exerted.

Other Variations

  • Single leg Supported Shoulder Stand Pose (Eka Pada Sarvangasana) – Intermediate Version: Get into the supported shoulder stand pose and lower one leg, say right, parallel to the floor; keeping the left leg perpendicular to the floor. The outer hip of the right leg might drop towards the floor. Turn the right leg outwards and move its sitting bone towards the left. Hold both sitting bones close together and rotate the right leg back to neutral. Hold for half a minute and release.

Preparatory Poses

Beginner’s Tips

While performing the shoulder stand pose, the neck is at the highest risk. Do not forget to perform the pose with a support. Do not turn your head while you are performing the pose and don’t make your neck bend farther than it is ready to.

Advanced Poses

Important Notes

  1. Do not perform this pose, if you are suffering from the following ailments:
    • Diarrhoea
    • Headache
    • Neck injury
    • Menstruation
    • High B.P.
  1. Pregnant ladies should avoid performing this pose.

Last Update : Aug 13th, 2014

Next Update: Oct 13th, 2014

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