Sarvangasana is very useful for asthmatics. These people tend to breathe superficially by moving their shoulders and their chests – they tend to avoid abdominal breathing. Sarvang-asana helps to rectify this situation and habit. Some asthmatics have also said that sarvangasana should be done immediately before an attack as a preventative measure.
Sarvangasana reduces blood pressure by acting on the carotid sinuses in the neck8. Therefore, sarvangasana is a useful practice for those people who have slightly high blood pressure. However, those people who have excessively high blood pressure should not do the asana for initially the blood pressure is increased.
Sarvangasana is very useful for treating piles (haemorrhoids) and varicose veins, for it helps to drain accumulated blood from these areas. People who suffer from these ailments should practise in the morning and evening for at least five minutes, more if possible. Those who have piles should rhythmically contract and relax their anal muscles, for this helps to remove the blood from the area.
This asana is also very useful for toning the legs and removing fatigue.
Regular practice helps to remove various types of digestive ailments, especially where they are caused by blood congestion or general inefficiency of the organs. Diabetics are advised to practise sarvangasana for it not only influences the pancreas, but also the entire endocrinal system. If you suffer from visceroptosis (displacement of the abdominal organs) then you should practise sarvangasana to help rectify this situation.
Sarvangasana tones the reproductive organs and helps to prevent degeneration of the testes, gonads and ovaries as well as the other sexual organs, male and female. It has been found useful in helping to relieve menstrual, menopausal and other general sexual disorders. It helps to alleviate hydrocele, leucorrhea, spermatorrhea, etc.
During sarvangasana the whole region of the neck, throat and face is flooded with fresh oxygenated blood which helps to improve the nourishment of this entire area and the many organs in the vicinity. The tonsils (important lymph nodes for ensuring protection against infection), the ears, the eyes, the lungs, the thymus and so forth all benefit from the improved blood supply. The thymus is believed to play an important part in the normal growth of children. It also has an immunological role and so sarvangasana increases the resistance of the body to disease by influencing both the tonsils and the thymus. The salivary glands in the mouth also work more efficiently, which in turn aids digestion. Wrinkles and spots on the face are also reduced by the improved blood supply. Facial complexion is generally improved. In general, we can say that sarvangasana helps to eliminate and prevent various types of throat and nose ailments, including the common cold.
Finally sarvangasana is an excellent method of tranquillizing the mind and helps to bring harmony and peace into one’s life. This is also useful for obtaining the most out of other yogic practices. If you perform sarvangasana before meditational techniques it will greatly help you to benefit fully from your practices.