Benefits of this pose:
- Calms nerves
- Aids digestion
- Helps relieve swollen legs
- Relaxes the mind
- Reduces anxiety, insomnia, and irritability
How to do Shoulder Stand:
Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms down. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
On an inhalation, use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs and hips off the floor. Curl your torso and bring your knees in toward your face. Then, lift your hips and bring your torso perpendicular to the floor.
Bend your elbows and place your hands on your lower back with your fingertips pointing up toward the ceiling. Keep your elbows on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Do not let your elbows splay out to the sides.
When you are comfortable, lift your thighs so they are vertical to the floor, keeping your knees bent. Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone. Then, straighten your legs fully and reach your feet up to the ceiling. Lift through the balls of your feet.
Try to bring your shoulders, hips, and feet into one line.
Keep your head and neck in line with your spine and do not turn your head. Draw your shoulder blades firmly into your upper back. Keep a space between your chin and chest, and soften your throat. Gaze toward your chest.
Hold the pose for 10-25 breaths. More advanced practitioners can hold the pose for five minutes or longer. To release the pose, slowly lower your feet back to the ground, coming into Plow Pose with your hands supporting your back. Then, release your hands to your sides and slowly roll down, one vertebra at a time, bending your knees if you need to.