How to modify your shoulder stand

Inversions like Salamba Sarvangasana or supported shoulderstands have many benefits. It strengthens your spine, calms the mind, and improves digestion. It’s not the most comfortable or easiest asana!

There are many ways to make the Shoulderstand more accessible. You will find below three modifications to the Shoulderstand that you can make to help ease your entry into the pose.

Please note, before we proceed, that this pose is best avoided if you are suffering from neck injuries, diarrhea, headaches, or menstruation. Viparita Karani’s Legs Up the Wall can be substituted for this pose. Never turn your head when in the pose. Come down and modify yourself if you need to.

Folded blankets

The blankets will protect your back and give you more room for your chest and neck. The blankets must be firm, and the neck and head lifted off so that your head is a little lower than your shoulders.

Fold the blankets in such a way that the folded edge is under your shoulders. Towels can be stacked, and a yoga towel or another towel can be used to hold the pile together.

Start with your shoulders just a few inches away from the edge of your blanket. When you rise, your shoulders will move closer to the edge.

Use a block

Using two blocks under the sacrum is a good way to practice inversions before you’re ready to go all the way back up or when you want to take it easy. This is an intermediate pose between Viparita Sarvangasana and Salamba Karani.

Before you lay down on the floor, keep 1-2 blocks in reach. Keep the blankets underneath your upper back so that you can lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat. Place the bottoms of your feet close to your hips. Inhale and lift your hips towards Bridge Pose. Slide the blocks underneath your sacrum.

Use a block’s flattest side. This will give you the most surface area to support and, therefore, be the most stable. This can be done with either one or two blocks, depending on the amount you want to raise your hips.

As soon as you have found a good place for the block, lift one leg at a time up towards the ceiling. If you can, roll your shoulders and interlace your fingers.

Use a wall for support.

The wall is an excellent place to continue. The wall is a great place to continue. It provides support and balance and allows you to get a feel for a Shoulderstand.

Begin in Viparita Karani and bring the short end to the wall. Sit sideways toward the wall and slowly raise your legs while keeping your torso on your mat. Bring the bottoms of your feet to the wall by bending your knees a little. It would be best if you had your palms facing downwards.

On an inhale, press your feet against the wall and lift your hips. It may take a few tries to find the right spot for your feet. However, it would be best if you never made any adjustments while in the pose. You should always lower your hips, adjust the foot placement, and then come back up. The shoulders should be rolled under to create more space to allow the chest to get closer to the chin.

Lift one leg at a time if you are comfortable. Stay in this pose for 4 to 6 breaths, and then slowly lower yourself.

You can start where you are comfortable and progress slowly from there. It’s best to begin your practice with a professional before you continue at home.

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