Proprioception of SARVANGASANA: chest to the chin, not the reverse

Proprioception is a very important aspect of Yoga training. As a beginner, knowing and getting awareness about proprioception is the key for a further journey in Yoga practice. Let us discuss the few basic points and clues of SARVANGASANA practice. 

Name: Sarva= all, Anga= parts, Asana=pose.

Meaning: All parts support pose (or) Shoulder stand. This is next to Sirshasana (head stand) in giving the benefits, hence also called as queen of asanas.

Introduction: Base of Support (BOS) is the ground area on which the body is suspended. If we see the pose from side view, Sarvangasana, an inverted pose, with the body contact like two elbows behind, shoulders in the middle and back of the head infront. All together it is a triangle. In this position the body from thorax to toes is vertical and its whole weight is on the shoulders (middle part of BOS). This is still near the neck. The blood vessels, pharynx, tracheal rings will be part of this pressure. Hence the load on Thyroid gland in particular is the great benefit from this asana. Thyroxin (T3) from thyroid gland is for metabolism of a cell. Thyroid gland constriction with lot of weight through it surely compress for a while. When the pose is released, the blood flow will replenish the nutrients and encourage the thyroid function than before. This is how the two extreme conditions like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be normalized that is homeostasis. So, with constant efforts, gravity can assist the blood vessels structures and their flow and the thyroid detoxification. General stress which suppresses the Pituitary gland is also one of the causes of thyroid imbalance. Awareness is the observation of on these changes during practice or on thyroid gland, or on eye brow center can reduce the stress and there by thyroid imbalances. Secondly with such weight bearing, the parathyroid gland releases Parath hormone, which controls the calcium metabolism. Hence awareness about these changes, like Iodine and Calcium metabolisms is the VISHUDDHI chakra. 

Step wise practice:

Step-1: Samasthitihi (Supine lying)

Step-2: Inhale, rise the lower limbs to 900

Step-3: Exhale, lift the pelvis and support the with palms.

Step-4: Inhale and adjust the head, elbows to allow the weight onto the shoulders (FINAL POSE). Maintain comfortably for 5-10 breaths.

Step-5: Exhale, lower the legs beyond the head

Step-6: Inhale slowly and drop the plams, lower each vertebra onto the floor and lower limbs to 900

Step-7: Exhale, bring the lower limbs onto the ground (supine lying)

Step-8: Observe for a minute.

Counter pose: Shashankasana (or) Chakrasan (or) Matsyasana which reverses the pressure at the neck region (VISHUDDHI chakra). The mechanical processing of Basal ganglia (Balance) and cerebellum (coordination) is the proprioception.

Corrections: 

  1. Keep the whole weight only onto the shoulders.
  2. Avoid stiffness of the lower limbs.
  3. Bring the chest to the chin but never the chin towards chest.
  4. Avoid chin tuck or Jalandhara bandha until it is under strict guidance.

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