Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand) – Overview

Asana Digest Overview


Salamba Sarvangasana (Whole Body Supported Posture / Shoulderstand), and related poses such as Ardha Sarvangasana (Half Shoulderstand), plus the more advanced Shoulderstand Cycle


Become knowledgeable about the pose and review detailed teaching considerations.


Explain the Sanskrit naming; contraindications and cautions; associated benefits and typical effects; instructions and cues for setting up and practicing the pose; variations to meet particular intentions and needs; and more teaching considerations.

Prerequisite Knowledge

The focus of Asana Digests is teaching specific poses. This support presumes you’re aware of the groundwork and teaching support here:  Asana Category – Inversion Poses.

Poses Overview

Salamba Sarvangasana

sah-LAHM-bah SAHR-vahn-GAH-sah-nah
“salamba” = supported
“sarva” = all or whole
“anga” = limb or body
Whole Body Supported Posture
Also known as: Supported Shoulderstand

Heart of Pose



  • Called the “Queen” or “Mother” of all asanas.
  • To avoid putting too much pressure on cervical vertebrae, Ardha Sarvangasana is a milder version where hips are aligned over elbows.
Introspection + The Mother Archetype of Compassion & Nurturance

Each posture affects your subtle energy differently. Shoulderstand represents the energies of the Mother archetype­ — compassionate, nurturing, benevolent — and focuses your gaze on yourself, as compared with Sirsasana (Headstand), for example, which has you face outward. Shoulderstand lets you be introspective. This is especially true for propped versions… Accepting support allows you to give up your ambition in the pose and take deep rest physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. – Judith Hanson Lasater link

Much More in this Digest

Asana Digests are precisely organized so that you can quickly get what you need. Please select from the menu above and be sure to review any contraindications and cautions.

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