FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $100

0

Your Cart is Empty

How to Do Shoulderstand Safely

April 14, 2013

Halfmoon - How to Do Shoulderstand Safely

If you are just starting to work with height under your shoulders in shoulderstand, Salamba Sarvangasana, get ready to re-experience the pose. Like all complex postures, it is best to work in stages and consult with an experienced yoga teacher, especially if you have a history of neck problems.

If you are comfortable using four Chip Foam Blocks and/or blankets for your set-up, consider these tips to improve your practice while keeping your body safe:

  • For sequencing, practice standing poses first, as they will energize your legs. You need energetic, working legs for Shoulderstand. Standing poses also open the chest and engage the shoulders, both of which will then be useful in Sarvangasana. If you regularly practice headstand, Sirsasana, always practice headstand before Shoulderstand.
  • Working on poses such as supported bridge pose (Setu Bandha) on four Chip Foam Blocks will help you understand the alignment of “standing” on your shoulders, and learn the necessary dynamic of pressing the arms down to lift and open your chest.
  • Make sure only the base of the neck is on the Chip Foam Blocks (or blankets), most of your neck should be free and maintain its natural curve.
  • Never turn your head to the side once you’ve lifted your hips and put weight on your shoulders like this. Keep your gaze straight up to the ceiling.
  • When first working on Shoulderstand with height under the shoulders, try moving your set-up, (the blocks and blankets) a few inches away from a clear wall, so that you can walk your feet up the wall to lift your body, rolling your shoulders under to open the chest. It will look like a bridge pose with your feet on the wall. Once you are stable on your shoulders, you can practice lifting one foot at a time off the wall and straight up into the air.

  • In Shoulderstand you can also use a looped strap around your elbows to keep them even, rooted and to prevent them from slipping apart. Your elbows and upper arms should be parallel and shoulder width apart.
  • While in Shoulderstand with your palms on your back, press your upper arms and elbows down to lift the chest more towards the chin, rather than pressing the chin towards the chest.
  • Build up the duration that you hold the pose over time. There should be absolutely no strain in your neck before, during or after. Be patient with yourself, it will be well worth the investment.

Screen-shot-2013-03-03-at-10.25.19-AMMeghan Goodman

Meghan Goodman is a yoga instructor and professional dance artist who can sometimes be seen dancing on the side of tall buildings. She has been teaching yoga since 2006, and is currently completing a certification in Iyengar yoga. For more information on classes, performances, to book a workshop or private session, please visit www.meghangoodman.wordpress.com



Also in The Balance Blog

Ocean Meditation with Kirstin Clark
Ocean Meditation with Kirstin Clark

March 19, 2019

Slow down and picture yourself on a warm, peaceful beach breathing in the ocean air. Take 5 minutes out of your day to come into yourself and wind down with this guided ocean meditation by yoga teacher, Kirstin Clark. You'll be coming out feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and wishing you were really on a beach.  
Read More
Being Great in Bed: The Science of Sleep in Reducing Stress
Being Great in Bed: The Science of Sleep in Reducing Stress

March 14, 2019

We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep but many of us are not actually “great in bed”. You probably already know that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to your overall health and well-being and that most people require a solid eight hours per night to maintain good sleep health. 
Read More
How to Choose a Meditation Sit Set
How to Choose a Meditation Sit Set

March 08, 2019

Need help choosing the perfect setup for your meditation practice? Consider a Sit Set! This product combines a supportive cushion with a zabuton that insulates and cradles your feet and ankles for extra comfort. Now, lets break down the differences between each set we offer and help you choose the best option for your body!

Read More

Pause, reflect and join our movement.