Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose) – Sequence

Sarvangasana can be done either at the beginning of your asana program (after surya namaskara and shavasana) or at the end of the program. The choice depends on various factors.

If you practise only asanas, then it is best to practise sarvangasana in the beginning, for it is an excellent asana for intensifying the power of awareness and wakefulness throughout the ensuing asanas. This will allow you to gain the most out of the asana program. Many people practise asanas in an automatic, sleepy manner and due to this they fail to reap the full benefits.

If you practise pranayama and meditation techniques after your asana program, then you should do sarvangasana at the end. In this case, the other asanas slowly loosen up the body and relax the mind, while sarvang-asana intensifies awareness and wakefulness for the following pranayama and meditational practices. This is most important, for without awareness, pranayama and meditation also fail to give their fullest benefits. If you have time, you can perform sarvangasana both before and after the asana program.

Many people do halasana7 (plough pose) immediately after sarvangasana. This is perfectly valid, for it is natural and easy to drop directly into the final pose of halasana from the final pose of sarvangasana. If you already know and practise halasana, we suggest you adopt the following sequence:

  1. Sarvangasana starting position
  2. Sarvangasana final pose
  3. Halasana final pose
  4. Halasana variations (if you know them)
  5. Sarvangasana starting position
  6. Counterpose for sarvangasana

This is an excellent combination.

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