Inverted Poses are some of the most beneficial poses yoga can offer. This is obvious to seasoned yogis and why shoulderstand is referred to as the Queen of Asanas and Headstand is referred to as the King of Asanas. Because we spend most of our time on our feet, inversions offer us the opportunity to turn things upside and allow gravity to work its magic in the opposite direction. I often say that I cannot imagine someone who lives their entire life without practicing an inversion.
Shoulder stand, says BKS Iyengar in his formidable Light on Yoga is
“one of the greatest boons bestowed upon humanity by the ancient sages…It is a panacea for almost ALL ailments…It is no overstatement to say that if a person regularly practices Sarvangasana he will feel new vigour and strength, and will be happy and he will feel the joy of life.”
One of the reasons this pose has such a beneficial impact is because of its direct stimulation and regulation of the thyroid and parathyroid glands located in the throat region. The thyroid gland regulates how quickly the body uses energy. An imbalance in the thyroid can lead to either an overactive thyroid or an under active thyroid. Shoulder stand, in particular, helps to balance the hormones regulated by the thyroid gland. This pose is recommended to practice at least once a day (unless contraindicated – contraindications include high blood pressure, headache, menstruation, neck or shoulder injury, pregnancy or diarrhea. Shoulder stand is considered an intermediate yoga pose and should not be practiced without proper guidance or experience.) However, it is important that you learn how to practice these poses correctly and with needed support to avoid injury. Please enjoy our video of Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, John Schumacher, teaching the proper set up and alignment for practicing Supported Shoulder stand.