Yoga Asana - Sarvangasana

July 10, 2012, 7:10 a.m.

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"Inversions cultivate the yogic mind."

Sarvangasana is the mother of all asanas. As the mother maintains harmony and peace in the family, this asana brings harmony and peace to our body. There is hardly any organ or area in the whole body which this asana does not activate.

If a person practices Sarvangasana regularly, it helps him improve vigor, strength and sense of well being. It makes one feel confident and brings vitality after regular practice.

To perform the asana .......

Lie flat on your back. Inhale deeply while raising your legs and spine until the toes point to the ceiling.

The body rests on the shoulders and the back of the neck. The body is supported by the hands, which are placed on the center of the spine between the waist and the shoulder blades.

Keep your spine and legs straight. Breathe slowly and deeply with the abdomen and concentrate on the thyroid gland.

Stay in this position for about two minutes. In general, this should be a relaxing, meditative posture, not a strenuous one. You want to use more skill and less effort when holding this position.

It is important to spread your weight onto your elbows so as to reduce the weight on the neck. Twenty percent of the nerves affecting our vision travel through the neck and shoulders. Looking up at the feet in this posture

excites the mind and senses and can even strain the neck. The recommended "drishti" or gaze is down the nose into the chest, promoting a grounded calmness and effortless extension from your core.

To come out of the posture, bend your knees, put the palms on the floor, then curving the spine, gradually unfold it the way one unrolls a carpet. When your entire back touches the floor, straighten the
knees, take a deep breath and slowly lower your legs to the ground while breathing out.

The main benefit of Sarvangasana is to get the thyroid gland working at peak efficiency.

The thyroid gland maintains body weight and renders a youthful appearance.

The asana vitalizes the nerves, purifies the blood, promotes good circulation, strengthens the lower organs and helps them stay in place.

It gives a healthy stretch to the neck muscles.

It is beneficial for people suffering from poor circulation, constipation, indigestion, asthma and reduced virility.

As a word of caution .........

Do not try this exercise if you are suffering from organic disorders of the thyroid gland. Be very cautious if you are suffering from chronic nasal catarrh.

People suffering form cervical spondylosis, glaucoma, pressure in the head and neck, menstruation, neck pain, disc problems or a weak back, hypertension or heart disease should avoid this asana.

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