The shoulder stand is a powerhouse of a pose, offering many health benefits. This pose helps to stimulate the thyroid gland, reduces fatigue, aids in digestion and bloating, sends more blood to your brain, and relieves back and neck tension. It’s no wonder it has been crowned the queen of asanas!
I’ve been practicing this pose for years though not on a regular basis. Becoming a brand new mama however, presented a new set of physical challenges that became a catalyst for the desire to re-introduce this pose back into my daily practice. New-mama life meant a lot of bending and lifting, baby wearing, and getting into uncomfortable positions just so that I wouldn’t disturb my daughter as she FINALLY went down for a nap (you know what I’m talking about, mamas!). As a result of this new mom life, I started getting frequent tension headaches and experiencing body fatigue. As I began incorporating the shoulder stand back into my home practice every night before I went to bed, the relief this pose has offered me has just been heavenly!
To ensure you are practicing this pose safely, make sure to warm up with a well-rounded yoga practice before attempting the shoulder stand. To gradually enter this pose, start with bridge and plow pose first. Once you’ve warmed up with those poses, you can then enter shoulder stand. It is safer to practice this pose with a stack of blankets tucked underneath your upper back. To prevent you from placing pressure on the delicate vertebrae in your neck, make sure your neck is free from the stack of blankets, and the back of your head is touching the ground.
Avoid this pose if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, detached retina, or any other conditions that prevent you from having your head lower than your heart.
I encourage you to start incorporating this pose into your home practice (if you haven’t already), because the benefits are just endless! It is definitely a pose you would want to keep in your private practice for a lifetime!