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Inverted Postures

Sarvangasana

 Sarvangasana, Shoulderstand

Shoulderstand

"God's peace nom floods my being."

Sar-vaan-gaa-sa-na Sarvanga = the whole body (literally, all limbs)

Instructions

Place a folded blanket on the floor and lie on the blanket in savasana, with the tops of your shoulders 2-3 inches below the folded edge of the blanket, elbows on the blanket.

Bring your arms in to your sides, palms down. Inhale and lift your legs to vertical, then exhale and push your hands and tiebacks of your arms into the floor, bringing your buttocks off the floor and your legs back over your head. Place your hands on your back for support, moving them as far toward your shoulders as possible, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Roll your shoulders under you and bring your torso to vertical. When you're ready, inhale and straighten through your hip joints, bringing your legs to vertical. To protect your neck and keep your spine long, continue pressing into the floor with the backs of your arms and shoulders as you lengthen upward through both legs.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose and affirm mentally, "God's peace now floods my being."

To exit, bend at your hip joints to bring your knees over your face, then slowly remove your hands and roll out of the pose. Keep your legs straight and lay your spine onto the floor vertebra by vertebra, then slowly lower your legs to the floor.

Pause to integrate the effects of the pose. Or if necessary, proceed immediately to a counterpose to release your neck (e.g., matsyasana).

 

Viparita Karani

Viparita Karani, Simple Inverted Pose

Simple Inverted Pose

"Awake, my sleeping powers, awake!"

Vi-par-ii-ta Ka-ra-nii Viparita = inverted, reversal; karani = making

Instructions

Place a folded blanket on the floor and lie on the blanket in savasana/ with the tops of your shoulders 2-3 inches below the folded edge of the blanket, elbows on the blanket.

Bring your arms to your sides, palms down. Inhale and lift your legs to vertical, then exhale as you lift your buttocks by pushing your hands and the backs of your arms into the floor. Place the heels of your palms on the upper back rim of your pelvis to help support the weight of your legs, while keeping your elbows on the floor. Place your fingertips on the coccyx. Roll your shoulders under you and keep your elbows close to your sides. At this point, your torso should be at about a 45 angle to the floor. Inhale and straighten at your hip joints, bringing your legs to just short of vertical, so a line straight down from your toes would intersect your abdomen. Press into the floor with the backs of the arms and shoulders, and lengthen upward through the legs.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose and affirm mentally, "Awake, my sleeping powers, awake!"

To exit, bend at your hip joints to bring your knees over your face, then slowly remove your hands and roll out of the pose. Keep your legs straight and lay your spine onto the floor vertebra by vertebra, then slowly lower your legs to the floor.

Pause to integrate the effects of the pose. Or if necessary, proceed immediately to a counterpose to release your neck (e.g., matsyasana).