[Pose Of the Week] One-Legged Shoulder Stand Pose (Intermediate)

One-Legged Shoulder Stand Pose tutorial

One-Legged Shoulder Stand Pose is a very beneficial inversion pose that helps you build strength, flexibility, endurance, and more…

One-Legged Shoulder Stand Pose (Eka Pada Sarvangasana) is an intermediate-level yoga pose that provides the benefits of an inversion along with an extra hamstring stretch. It also helps to strengthen the shoulders, arms, upper back, and core, while stretching the neck, hips, and quadriceps. The pose is also thought to improve digestion, stimulate the thyroid and prostate glands, and relieve insomnia, fatigue, stress, anxiety, and mild depression.

It is also a helpful pose when transitioning to and from Plow Pose.

Those with any spinal injury, those who are pregnant, or who have high blood pressure or headaches should avoid this pose. If you are menstruating, check out this post for a few things to know about performing inversion poses.

How to Do One-Legged Shoulder Stand Pose:

  1. Begin by entering the Supported Shoulderstand pose (Salamba Sarvangasana). Push up through your legs and out of your feet, pointing your toes up at the ceiling.
  2. When you feel stable in your Supported Shoulderstand, exhale as you begin to lower your left leg toward the mat on the other side of your head. If possible, bring the top of your foot, ball of your foot or toes down to touch the mat; otherwise bring your leg down as far as your flexibility allows, pointing the toes of both feet.
  3. Continue to extend up through your right leg, slightly tilting your pelvis which will provide a deeper stretch for this leg. Keep your left leg active as well, pushing out through your toes to feel a stretch going down the length of your leg. Your hands should both still be on the small of your back from the Supported Shoulderstand, fingers spread and pointing upward. Check the placement of your shoulders as well; they should be pulled in, providing a stable base and allowing space around your ears and neck. The alignment of your hips should not have changed, still positioned directly over the shoulders.
  4. Start out with a goal of 10-30 seconds, but hold the position as long as you can do so comfortably. If possible, try to add time in 5-10 second intervals until you can hold the pose for 3-5 minutes.
  5. To come out of the position, keep your hands on the small of your back and inhale as you lift your left foot off the ground and bring it perpendicular again. Repeat all steps on the other side, ending with the Supported Shoulderstand.
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