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Health Benefits of Sarvangasana

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 29/12/2023
  • 2 min read

Individuals have come to acknowledge the concerns of a quick-paced life and are seeking a mindful transformation in their routines with a focus on holistic wellness. In this endeavour, yoga is considered greatly beneficial as it focuses on strengthening your body as well as your mind.

Among the many yoga poses, the Sarvangasana is considered highly advantageous. Let’s understand Sarvangasana's meaning and explore its many benefits to your health.

What is Sarvangasana?

To understand sarvangasana’s meaning, let’s break down the term: “sarvanga” means the entire body, whereas “asana” means pose or posture. So, as the term indicates, Sarvangasana influences the functioning of all parts of your body. The asana is also often referred to as the shoulder stand.

Sarvangasana is an inversion pose (in Ashtanga yoga) that is done at the end of the yoga practice to cleanse the blood flow throughout the body and evoke an inner sense of calmness.

As an inversion pose, practising the Sarvangasana refreshes blood flow to the brain and heart after completing other poses that need the head, neck, and heart to remain upright.

The Sarvangasana is often called the ‘Queen of Yoga Asanas’, as it is believed to rouse kundalini, the force of primal energy present at the base of the spine. It also opens the throat chakra (a.k.a. Vishuddha), which is considered the purification centre for the body and affects one’s creativity.

Now that we understand its meaning, let’s explore some key benefits of the shoulder stand.

Sarvangasana Benefits for Your Health

During the Sarvangasana, your entire body is employed and is balanced on your shoulders. As this asana influences the functioning of all your body parts, it is considered highly beneficial in improving your mental as well as your physical health.

Let us take a look at Sarvangasana yoga benefits so you are encouraged to spare some time for your exercise:

Curbs Respiratory Ailments: Regular practice of the Sarvangasana is believed to rid you of respiratory ailments such as asthma, sinusitis, and other concerns.

This is because practising the Sarvangasana benefits the lungs by draining all the toxins and subsequently ensuring that there is a sufficient supply of oxygen to all the organs.

Enhances Lung Capacity: The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus revealed the importance of strong lungs.

With consistent practice of the Sarvangasana, one can significantly enhance lung health as the shoulder stand improves blood supply to the lungs. This results in strong and efficient lungs with improved capacity.

Improves Strength and Flexibility: Improving flexibility is important for building strength and stability and comes with a range of benefits, such as fewer injuries, fewer body aches, improved posture, etc.

Among Sarvangasana yoga’s benefits, its ability to strengthen your body’s flexibility, thereby allowing easier and deeper movements, is highly celebrated. Sarvanagasna improves spinal flexibility and strengthens the back, shoulder, and arms.

Promotes Weight Loss: Weight management is an essential element of wellness as obesity can lead to severe health concerns. Practising the Sarvangasana regularly can help individuals in their weight loss journey as it tones the muscles in your abdomen, reduces apron belly, and strengthens your core.

Improves Gut Health: Our current lifestyle often includes poor dietary choices.

However, as Sarvangasana promotes proper blood circulation, it helps improve your gut health by curing constipation, indigestion, and other gut-related ailments.

Improves Reproductive Health: By improving their lifestyle and practising the Sarvangasana regularly, men and women can improve their reproductive health.

Sarvangasana increases the efficiency of reproductive organs in both men and women while also relieving symptoms of menopause and balancing mood swings in women.

It is also believed to be beneficial in conditions such as syphilis and frequent miscarriages.

Maintains Hormonal Balance: With Sarvangasana, blood that may stagnate in the lower half of your body is moved to other body parts.

It promotes an increase in blood supply to the brain and hormone glands. This increase in blood and oxygen improves the function of the endocrine system. Sarvangasana also stimulates the thyroid gland and regulates both high and low thyroid hormones.

Controls Blood Sugar: As Sarvangasana can help regulate blood sugar levels and manage insulin production, it is considered highly beneficial for diabetes.

Benefits Hair: By improving blood circulation to the scalp, Sarvangasana can greatly benefit your hair health. It effectively nourishes your hair follicles, reduces hair fall, and promotes hair growth.

Benefits Skin: Sarvangasana benefits for skin are not commonly known but the asana is highly effective in achieving healthy skin.

Some Sarvangasana benefits for the skin include reducing the appearance of dark circles, nourishing and detoxifying the skin, alleviating pimples, wrinkles, acne, and dullness, and enhancing skin quality.

Strengthens Immunity: One of the most important benefits of a shoulder stand is that it can boost your immunity while also improving balance in the circulatory, digestive, reproductive, and nervous systems of the body that positively impact one’s health.

Prevents Functional Disorders: When you are regular and consistent in your practice of the Sarvangasana, you may steer clear of functional disorders relating to your nose, eyes, ears, and throat owing to proper blood supply to these organs.

Improves Mental Health: Our modern lifestyle has left us vulnerable to several mental health concerns, indicating the need to take active measures to improve it.

With the practice of Sarvangasana, dopamine is released in your brain, which helps in relieving stress, anxiety, and depression while also promoting peaceful sleep.

Improves Brain Functionality: As Sarvangasana improves blood flow to the brain, it offers several brain health benefits:

Nourishes the brain

Promotes an active and alert mind

Enhances cognitive functioning

Lowers stress and anxiety

Increases blood supply to hormone glands near the brain, such as the pineal gland and the hypothalamus

Releases happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine

Improves memory

Relieves headaches

Prevents Eye Problems: Sarvangasana improves your eye health by promoting blood flow in the area. It also helps correct functional disorders of the eyes, enhances your eyesight, relaxes the muscles in your eyes, and reduces tension in your eyes.

The aforementioned benefits of Sarvangasana yoga reveal its many benefits to one’s health. However, it is important to be consistent with your approach to avail of these countless health benefits.

It is also important to note that the Sarvangasana may be a complex asana for beginners, so it is imperative to acquaint yourself with the proper Sarvangasana procedure.

Step-by-Step Sarvangasana Procedure

Yoga is a mindful and holistic approach to wellness, so when practising any of the asanas, the mind must be calm and still. As the Sarvangasana is an advanced pose, beginners are advised to start with the Ardha-Sarvangasana pose and then move to Sarvangasana.

Steps for Ardha-Sarvangasana:

Step 1: Lie on your back on the yoga mat

Step 2: Now pull your feet as close as you can to your hips, and with an exhalation, draw your legs against your thighs

Step 3: With the support of your hands, vertically raise your lower body. At this point, your abdominal muscles may be gently strained.

Step 4: In this final position, the lower half of your body will be supported by your elbows, palms, neck, and back of the head.

Step 5: As you balance yourself in this position, ensure slow and rhythmic breathing and try to hold the pose for at least two minutes before releasing. However, you may release the pose if you are feeling extreme discomfort.

Step 6: To get out of the pose, gently lower your hips with the support of your hands

Steps for Sarvangasana:

Step 1: Start by laying flat on the yoga mat with your hands on the side of the body and your feet close to your hips

Step 2: Gently raise your legs with your hips and back while supporting your back with your hands

Step 3: Keep your elbows close to each other and ensure that the entirety of your weight is not on your head or your neck. The weight must only be supported by the upper arms and shoulders.

Step 4: Draw your toes over your nose and keep your legs straight in the air.

Step 5: Ensure that there is no strain on your neck in this position, and if the neck is strained, gently lower your back with the help of your hands

Step 6: Beginners can try to stay in the pose for a minimum of 30 seconds and gradually increase the time to five minutes.

It is important to note that the Sarvangasana is a complex pose and so individuals practising it must not be discouraged if they cannot get it right in the beginning.

While in the pose, individuals should attempt normal abdominal breathing as the objective is to balance their body.

Tips for Practising Sarvangasana

Sarvangasana yoga is a high-intensity exercise; it should not be performed after any other rigorous exercise as it can result in an abnormal rush of blood in your brain.

Here are some additional tips to be mindful of when practising the Sarvangasana:

Your knees must be straight with your toes pointing skyward. However, you should attempt to do this without straining your legs so the blood won’t drain from your legs.

Keep your head straight and look at your toes when in the pose

Ensure you don’t raise your head when practising Sarvangasana

Raise your trunk such that your chin comfortably rests on your chest

Avoid moving your neck in the chin lock position, or you may risk overstraining it

Sarvangasana Contraindications

Before performing the Sarvangasana, it is important to make note of personal health conditions. There may be instances where practising the Sarvangasana can do more harm than good by injuring the neck and spine, causing dizziness and discomfort, etc.

Here are some Sarvangasana contraindications that individuals suffering from the following health concerns must make note of:

Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Headaches and migraines

Slipped disc, weak spine, or vertigo

Pregnant and menstruating women

Asthmatic patients should first perform breathing exercises before doing the shoulder stand

Cold, sinusitis, and tuberculosis

Patients who have undergone abdominal and spine surgeries

Cerebral thrombosis (blood clot in the brain) and atherosclerosis (deposition of fat/cholesterol in the wall of the arteries)

Wrapping Up

Regularly practising yoga can significantly improve an individual’s mental and physical health.

However, this preventive healthcare strategy must be paired with planning for unforeseeable healthcare scenarios via reliable health insurance.

A comprehensive medical insurance plan takes care of the soaring medical and hospitalisation expenses so one can focus on their recovery instead of worrying about the finances. The benefits of health insurance extend beyond financial assistance by providing mental peace.

FAQS

Here are some commonly asked questions about the Sarvangasana:

What are the side effects of performing the Sarvangasana?

It is important to be careful while practising the Sarvangasana, as performing it incorrectly can cause the following side effects:

Pain in the shoulder and upper arms

Injust in the spine or neck

Worsening of glaucoma

Discomfort and dizziness

For how long should you hold the Sarvangasana pose?

Beginners can try and hold the Sarvangasana pose for 30 seconds and gradually increase this time to three to five minutes.

How often should you practise the Sarvangasana in a day?

You can practise the Sarvangasana for a minute in the day and one minute in the evening. This asana is usually performed at the end of a yoga session.

What happens during the Sarvangasana?

In Sarvangasana, the blood supply of the body is reversed as the stagnant blood from the legs and lower body moves towards the face, scalp, and brain. This improves brain functionality, improves the health of your skin and hair, increases lung capacity, treats respiratory disorders, and more.

Can you practise Sarvangasana during periods?

Sarvangasana should not be performed during periods as the inversion can cause excessive blood flow and lead to vascular obstruction problems.

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