Posted by: eveyoga | April 14, 2010

Extolling Sarvangasana (shoulderstand)

Sarvangasana (Maarit's sketch)

It was only yesterday that I was waxing lyrical about Sirsasana (headstand), so perhaps you will think me fickle to be equally enthusiastic about another inversion. No matter.

Sarvangasana (“the Queen of Asanas”, she’s called) was always my scariest pose. I wasn’t worried about of falling out of it or my neck hurting, but I was very afraid of the long timings expected of the students in Martyn’s classes. It was nothing to do a 10 minute straight shoulderstand, followed by many variations, and a longish halasana (plough pose).

Like a watched pot never boiling, those long shoulderstands & halasanas were interminable, and I would always find an extremely valid reason to come down early.

I don’t know exactly when the tide turned in favour of shoulderstand, but turn it did. Maybe 30 years after I started yoga? Was I a masochist for hanging in there for so long? Or merely stubborn? It helped when I discovered supported shoulderstand and halasana, user-friendly approaches to the standard ones.

I’m so glad I did! I wouldn’t want to miss out on doing shoulderstand and halasana in my daily practice for anything now. They were a couple of the first yoga poses I took up again after my recent hip surgery when I got the all-clear from my specialist.

I’ll just reiterate the bit of advice from the last blog about headstand. If you have trouble with the Queen, find an experienced teacher (or Donald Moyer’s book – Awakening the Inner Body) to help you over any hurdles. Eventually you might be like me, up-side down and purring away.


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