[Pose Of the Week] Half Frog Side Shoulderstand Pose (Intermediate)

Balance, stretch, & strengthen from head-to-toe in Half Frog Side Shoulderstand Pose!

Half Frog Side Shoulderstand Pose (Ardha Bheka Parsva Sarvangasana) is an intermediate-to-advanced level yoga pose that requires flexibility, balance, and strength. This pose strengthens the core muscles, shoulders, neck, and upper back, while stretching the quads, ankles, knees, and lower legs. It is believed to relieve stress and anxiety, improve digestion, stimulate the thyroid, and help to treat insomnia and fatigue. It also improves concentration and balance.

If you have trouble holding the pose even as an advanced student, try raising your outstretched leg a bit rather than trying to keep it parallel to the floor.

Those with back, shoulder, wrist, elbow, hip, or knee injuries, or who have high or low blood pressure or are pregnant, should avoid this pose.

How to Do Half Frog Side Shoulderstand Pose:

  1. Begin by entering Supported Shoulderstand Pose (Salamba Sarvangasana). When you feel stable in this position, exhale and twist both legs together 45 degrees, moving your legs toward the left. Bend the left leg at the knee, drawing your foot toward your hip.
  2. Keeping both forearms firmly planted on the floor, remove your left hand from your back and grab your left foot, pulling it closer and eventually placing it on the left hip if you’re able (or on your side as close to your hip as possible).
  3. Lay your right arm out perpendicular to your torso, using your right hand to help keep yourself balanced. Be sure that your shoulders and forearms are still pressed into the floor; if you feel your shoulder beginning to lift as you draw the leg in closer to your hip, actively push your shoulders and forearms into the floor or mat. If you can’t bring your foot to your side without lifting your shoulder, do not push yourself further into the position.
  4. Extend the right leg out diagonally to the left, creating a nice long arch from your right armpit all the way to your right toes. Point your toes, reaching out through the tips. As you press into the forearms and shoulders for support, be sure to keep your shoulders from pushing up around the neck and ears.
  5. Hold this pose for a few breaths, increasing to 30 seconds or more if possible. This position is very difficult to hold so do not push the limit, which can lead to collapsing on the neck and shoulders.
  6. To come out of the position, release your left foot and begin to lift both legs back upright, placing both hands on your back for support. Return to the Supported Shoulderstand and repeat with the right leg.
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Image Source: YogaCards.com


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