Parshva Sarvangasana (Side Shoulder Stand)

Side Shoulder Stand
Level: Advanced

Parshva = side of the body, or flank. Sarva = whole, all, complete. Anga = limb.

This pose is a combination of a core and balance pose. It is much easier to keep the balance when you are not all the way up on three blankets. If you are warmed up enough from doing a long shoulder stand or several variations, you might consider taking this pose from the floor with only one blanket, or with no blankets at all. Just go easy when you come into shoulder stand again. Do not push into the neck or try and lift the back up as much as you would on your regular blanket set-up.

Organizing the Pose

  1. Either come into the pose from Eka Pada Sarvangasana (Singe Leg Shoulder Stand) or from Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1).
  2. Turn the chest and ribs up to the left, swinging the legs to the right and lowering them towards the floor.
  3. Keep the left hand on the back and slide the right hand down towards the sacrum.
  4. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Return to Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) and repeat on the second side.
  6. Either continue on with other Halasana (Plough Pose) or Sarvangasana variations, or exhale and come down, using the arms to control yourself as you roll down through the back.
  7. Slide off the blankets towards the head until the shoulders come to the floor and the hips are raised on the blankets. Rest there for a few breaths.
  8. Roll over onto the right side and press yourself up.

Practice Points

  • Anchor down evenly through the upper arm bones.
  • Turn the ribs to make the sides of the trunk as parallel as possible.
  • Turn the pelvis to make it horizontal.
  • Reach strongly through both legs.
  • Lengthen the sides of the waist towards the head.
  • Broaden and lift the back ribs.
  • Broaden the collarbones.
  • Soften and widen the chest, neck and throat.