Niralamba Sarvangasana (Unsupported Shoulder Stand Pose)

In English this asana is known as the ‘unsupported shoulder stand pose’. It is similar to sarvangasana, and differs in only one way: the arms and hands are not held behind the back. The arms can be held in any one of the following positions:

1. Straight and vertical so that they lie in line with the raised legs and the trunk. In this variation there must be perfect balance of the entire body. If necessary you can practise near a wall to prevent falling and possible injury. The body is supported only on the shoulders, nape of the neck and back of the head. You should not try this asana until you can do the basic form of sarvangasana without applying pressure from the elbows.

2. The arms are extended directly behind the head so that they are parallel to each other and flat on the floor.

3. The arms are placed flat on the floor, parallel with each other and pointed in the opposite direction to the head.

All these three forms of niralamba sarvangasana should be done slowly from the final pose of the basic form of sarvangasana.

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