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sarvangasana

Lifestyle Yoga

The Sarvangasana Cycle

March 24, 2020

It is one of the greatest boons conferred on humanity by our ancient sages.  (Light on Yoga p 212)

Sarvangasana variations comprise the ‘Sarvangasana cycle’. The immunity sequence comprises of :

  • Eka Pada Sarvangasana :  In this variation (shown on the left), one leg is brought down to rest on the floor similar to Halasana.  The other leg should be absolutely straight.  This posture draws upon the the flexibility of the hamstrings and the strength of the quadriceps muscles too.
  • Parsvaika Pada Sarvangasana : In this variation (shown on the right), one leg is brought down to the side of the body, diagonal from the trunk.  As with all Sarvangasana variations, this requires control and strength of the core muscles, but this variation also requires an flexible hip joint.

We perform these variations to gain more control over our bodies.  They require us to use more of our core strength, or cultivate the necessary core strength.  All Sarvangasana variations are great to tone and strengthen the muscles of the legs and are a boon for the kidneys.

Contraindications

The contraindications that apply for Sarvangasana apply to the variations as well.

Busting the Myths

When students first start practicing these variations there is a rush to touch the toes to the floor.  This compromises the alignment of the raised leg. Read on for some practice pointers.

Practice Pointers

  • The variations can be performed after staying in the Sarvangasana for 5-10 minutes.
  • Do them for 30 seconds on each side.
  • If your leg doesn’t reach the floor use a stool or chair under it (see video).

 

Stay tuned for more from our Yoga to Boost Immunity Sequence.

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Lifestyle Yoga

Sarvangasana – The Mother of Asanas

March 19, 2020

Sarvanga (Sarva=all, whole, entire, complete; anga=limb or body) means the entire body or all the limbs.  In this pose the whole body benefits from the exercise, hence the name.  (Light on Yoga, p 206)

 

The Sarvangasana is beneficial for your entire body, which is why it’s called the Mother of all Asanas.  Just like the mother nourishes you at many levels, so the Sarvangasana nourishes you at many levels.  In fact, there is also the chinlock, the Jalandhar Bandha that forms.

It helps to:

  • Expand the chest enabling deeper breathing.
  • Eradicate common cold and other nasal disturbances.
  • Stimulate the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
  • Get rid of even chronic headaches.
  • Relieve insomnia and hypertension.
  • Detoxify the system.

 

Contraindications

Ladies who are menstruating should not do the sarvangasana.  People suffering from diarrhea or headaches should also not practice this asana.

Busting the Myths

In many old yoga books you will find this posture also called the Candlestick posture because the body is supposed to resemble a straight candle on a candle holder.  Read on for some practice pointers…

Practice Pointers

  • In the final position only the back of the head, the neck, shoulders and upper arms should be on the floor.  You must take care NOT to bring the chin in to the chest, but to bring the chest forward to the chin.  When you do this the entire spine stretches.
  • If you find that your body isn’t perpendicular work on tightening the buttocks and lifting up vertically.
  • Don’t allow the elbows to widen outwards.  This will make it more difficult to straighten the trunk.
  • Also ensure that your neck doesn’t move sideways, as that will cause injury to the neck.

 

Stay tuned for more from our Yoga to Boost Immunity Sequence.

Download the Daily Yoga Practice Checklist.

Follow Amrutha Bindu Yoga here.

Follow Medha Bhaskar here.

Follow me (Pragya Bhatt) here.