The Secret about Shoulder Stand by Shakti Mhi | iHanuman


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The Secret about Shoulder Stand by Shakti Mhi

In Yoga, shoulder stand is known as the queen of all asanas while headstand is the king of all asanas. Thus, subtly suggesting that headstand is superior to shoulder stand

But we all know that behind every powerful king there is an even more powerful queen…J

The question remains: is headstand stand actually ‘better’ or more powerful than shoulder stand?

1. Many people that are practicing headstand are not strong enough in their shoulders, arms and back muscles so they lean on their head and compress their neck to compensate. The small neck vertebrae were never designed to hold the weight of the body alone. When head stand is done correctly the head should be lightly above the ground while all the weight is on the hands and shoulders. In shoulder stand the weight of the body is divided between the shoulders and arms leaving the neck free of compression and if there is still compression on the neck we have the option to move the pelvis away from the head and lower the legs to 45 degrees, an option we do not have in head stand.

2. Another concern for some people who are practicing headstand, is the risk of retinal detachment; as a result of gravity – blood rushes to the eyes. Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue; it can be very serious. However, in shoulder stand the blood is slowing down in the neck area before it reaches the eyes and this effectively reduces the pressure on the eyes.

3. Headstand is a very advanced pose and is not suitable for beginners that are not strong enough to get into the pose with full control and slow motion. When it is practiced by beginners, they usually kick their legs up to the sky and sway on the fragile neck vertebrae with the risk of pinching the nerve in the neck or falling with their legs over the head with the risk of cracking their neck. Shoulder stand can be easily modified for beginners that are not yet strong or flexible by lowering the legs over the head to 45 degrees.

In other words, you can get the same if not even more benefits doing shoulder stand than doing headstand and eliminate potential injury.

Shakti Mhi
The author of “The enigma of Self-Realization”
Prana Yoga College

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