Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark

Shoulder Support

To soar skyward in Shoulderstand, press your arms strongly into the earth.

By Julie Gudmestad

fea_198_08_Shoulderstand.jpg

Have you ever been up in Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), feeling as though your legs weigh a ton? Your arms won't support you, your chest is collapsed, and your jaws are tight? Wish you had a magic skyhook to pull you up against gravity? Lacking a skyhook or a helper in the ceiling, you'll have to use your muscles to lift up—actually, to push up—so that you don't collapse.

It's worth doing a bit of work, though, to train those muscles. When they're doing their job, you'll no longer have to struggle against gravity—instead, your pose will feel light. According to yoga tradition, every cell in your body will benefit from the reverse effects of gravity on your circulatory system. Your heart and lungs will feel spacious rather than compressed, and you'll be able to savor the quiet introspection that the pose brings.

Ultimately, Sarvangasana's lift comes from its foundation, most of which is formed by the shoulders and upper arms. Most of the upward push comes from the strength of the muscles in the shoulders and of those that move the shoulder blades. It's likely that you're weak in just these areas: Unless you're a weightlifter or rower, you probably haven't conditioned your body to push backward with your arms. But with a little informed practice, you can strengthen and coordinate these muscles to work as you want them to.

Page 1 2 3 4

Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark
Full Name
Address 1
Address 2
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email (req):

Reader Comments

Trevor

this article is awesome! I have been doing yoga for a few weeks now and because of my age it has been tough to start. I really do like to do it though because it helps me to remain limber and flexible as I work through it. I do have to wear my BraceAbility brace for my shoulder though so I don't reinjure it.
Thank you so much for your great articles!

Rob Walker

Excellent article as always by Julie. I plan to use this in class today!

Add a Comment »

Your Name:

Comment:

Stay Connected with Us!

Join Yoga Journal's Benefits Plus
Liability insurance and benefits to support
teachers and studios.
Learn More
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 4 FREE GIFTS
Your subscription includes
Yoga for Neck & Shoulders • Yoga Remedies
Yoga for Headaches • Calm, Cool, Collected
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Yoga Journal
and my 4 FREE downloadable Yoga Booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions