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Shoulder stand: the queen of poses

December 24, 2008

The shoulder stand is rightly referred to as the queen of poses. Barring those suffering from extreme ailments like hyperthyroidism, toxic conditions, cardiac ailments, or spinal column injury or pain, it is recommended for most ailments. As the Sanskrit name suggests (Sarvangasana), it is a pose which works out the entire body.

While most other inversions are regarded as 'heating' or 'stimulating', this pose is regarded as 'cooling' or calming. The effort of inversions is muted in this pose, since the body is well supported by the strong shoulders. The gush of blood to the head is the reason why this pose is regarded as a powerful de-stress tool.

It is used as therapy in most digestive ailments due to the massaging effect on the abdomen from the anti-gravity drag it creates; it soothes haemorrhoids; relieves bloating or oedema and varicose veins. It is a preventive in neck problems because it really powers the neck by giving it traction. It tones the entire spine, preventing aches all along it.

The pressure on the thyroid boost metabolism, improving digestion and aiding weight loss. The immune system and the respiratory system are also worked out powerfully, thus preventing infections and boosting lung capacity.

Shameem Akthar, yogacharya trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, instructs you on five poses that work the legs.

Catch more of Shameem's yoga writings and about her upcoming workshops at

This article only attempts to enthuse readers towards yoga practice and complement your existing practice. Yoga is best learnt under the personal guidance of a teacher.
Also read: Power your legs with yoga

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