Sarvangasana (sahr-vahn-gah-sah-nah[needs IPA]; Sanskrit: सर्वाङ्गासन; IAST: sarvāṅgāsana) or Shoulderstand is an āsana.
Many variations of the Shoulderstand exist, the likely most common to be taught is Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangāsana).
Sarvangāsana is nicknamed "queen" or "mother" of all the yoga poses. The name in the case of Salamba Sarvāngāsana (Supported Shoulderstand) comes from the Sanskrit words Salamba meaning "supported", Sarva meaning "all" or "every", Anga meaning "limb" or "bodypart", and Āsana meaning "posture"," position", or "seat", thus Salamba Sarvāngasana literally translates to "supported-all-limbs-pose". Lying on the back with the hands under the mid-back, the legs and lower body are lifted so that the weight of the body is supported on the head, neck, shoulders and upper arms. The gaze is towards the toes and the head is aligned with the mid-line of the body.
Advanced practitioners hold this pose for as much as three hours.
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Stimulates the thyroid and prostate glands and abdominal organs
- Stretches the shoulders and neck
- Tones the legs and buttocks
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Reduces fatigue and alleviates insomnia
- Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, and sinusitis