Support your Shoulder Stand with a Yoga Bolster
Salamba Sarvangasana / Shoulder Stand
Shoulder Stand is a stepping pose to other inversions such as Headstand and leading to more advanced poses like Scorpion Pose. One should practice supported Shoulder Stand as long as needed, to gain strength and stability before moving on to other inversions. The benefits of inversions are mighty. They improve circulation, build strength, improve digestion, and help alleviate anxiety.
Benefits of Using a Yoga Bolster in Salamba Sarvangasana
Everyone benefits from using lift under the shoulders in shoulder stand. Why? It creates space for the neck, relieves neck pressure, and allow the shoulders to open. Propping up for shoulder stand is always a good idea. Even for advanced yogis.
How to come into Salamba Sarvangasana with a flat yoga bolster
- Place the flat bolster on a folded sticky mat to prevent sliding. Place the mat and the bolster about 18" from the wall. (Use more space for bodies with longer legs and less for shorter legs.)
- Lie down and place the tops of the shoulders on the horizontal bolster, close to the back edge of the bolster.
- Place the palms on the floor, lift the hips and walk the feet up the wall. With the knees bent and feet on the wall, place the hands high up on the back and lift the torso up. Keep the elbows in tight.
- If stable and steady, lift one leg at a time up, to be in line with the pelvis.
- If stable take the second leg up. Keep lifting from the torso, with the hands as high up on the back as possible to lift the chest.
- Come out of the pose by walking the feet down the wall.
Before Salamba Sarvangasana, you can practice Chatush Padasana / bridge pose to practice rolling your shoulders under. For a more mild inversion, try Setu Bandha Sarvangasana / Bridge Pose and Viparita Karni / Legs up the Wall pose.
For more ways to use bolsters for inversion poses, read our how to guide on inversions.
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