Try One-Legged Shoulderstand Pose to stretch your legs & strengthen your back, shoulders, core, and more…
One-Legged Shoulderstand Pose (Eka Pada Sarvangasana) – also known as One Legged All Limbs Supported Pose – is a variation of Supported Shoulderstand Pose which provides an extra stretch to your legs, while building strength and stability throughout the body. In this variation, one foot is extended toward the floor, while your body remains in a vertical position.
This pose offers the same benefits as other inversion poses – such as detoxification, stimulation of the internal organs, and improved circulation – but also adds an additional stretch of the glutes and hamstrings. It also strengthens the core, back, shoulders, arms, and legs, and is believed to improve thyroid and cardiovascular health, help manage diabetes and reproductive health issues, and balance the Throat Chakra.
Be sure to remain open through the chest and engaged in your core muscles and lower back to avoid collapsing in too much as you lower the leg. Tuck your tailbone and activate the hip muscles to remain stabilized.
Those with high blood pressure, glaucoma, neck, shoulder, or back injuries, or who are in the first trimester of pregnancy should avoid this pose.
How to Do One-Legged Shoulderstand Pose:
- Prepare for the pose by stretching your hamstrings, gluteals and hip flexors. To create length in these muscles, use poses like Intense Side Stretch Pose and Monkey Pose.
- Stretch your pectoral and anterior deltoids to prepare your shoulders to draw the elbows towards the floor in the final pose.
- Lift up into Salamba Sarvangasana. Lever your chest open by leaning back into the hands and pressing the backs of your elbows into the mat. Then lower one leg over your head towards the floor.
- You may wish to rest your lowered foot on a chair at the beginning. As you gain stability and flexibility, lower your leg further using your psoas muscle to flex your hip.
- Raise your leg straight up again into Shoulderstand, and repeat with the opposite leg.
- When you are ready to come out of the posture, brace your back with the hands before coming into Plow Pose (Halasana); Then, with control, gently bend the legs and slowly roll out of the posture and onto the back.
- Rest there for a few seconds to allow your cardiovascular system to adjust before you move on.
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