Serenity and Shoulderstand

yoga shoulderstand


Sarvangasana, or shoulderstand, is known as the 'queen' or Mother of yoga asana or postures.

Love it? Fear it? Keen to understand it better?

Shoulderstand palpably calms the mind and emotions, and restores vitality, inner ease, confidence and our connection with source. Serenity is inherent in the pose;  it balances our rajasic (agitated, frazzled, anxious) and tamasic (lethargic) energies with its meditative quality.

The yogic texts share that inverting the body and reversing our vital energies allows yogis to enjoy the luminous nectar that accumulates at the throat centre, while the senses turn inwards (pratyahara) as part of subtle experience and being.

On a physical level, the whole body and its systems benefit from shoulderstand, through its impact on the glands, organs, circulation, digestion and elimination, and its soothing of the nervous system. There can be a felt-sense of this in the pose.

Yet, how can we experience all this, given the physical challenges of the pose and the fact that its effects are most potent when it is held for some time? Why do some experience neck pain or headaches after the pose? Can shoulderstand be easeful? If so, how? And for whom? Everyone or a select few?

In this workshop, we'll explore:
* How we can embody serenity in asana practice; attention for Awareness
* Less commonly-known approaches and versions of shoulderstand
* Preparation and accessible progressions (inversions come in many forms, several of which don't look like the image above)
* Supportive sequencing
* The balance between strength/flexibility/technique and our outer/inner layers (koshas)
* Safe practice: protecting the cervical spine, neck and related muscles, tendons and ligaments in this inversion
* Integrating the yamasniyamas and Patanjali's Eight Limbs, staying true to ourselves and Essential Nature
* A yoga nidra to close, reflecting the yogic 'why' of this pose and inversions

If you're interested in the workshop but know you won't be inverting on the day, that's no problem at all. Please come along and a suitable alternative will be offered to you.

Props are needed. Please see below. Ideal for more experienced students (of all physical abilities), teachers/trainees and those with an interest in yoga philosophy/wisdom teachings.

If you're unable to attend live, a recording will be available for 10 days. Please request this at the time of booking.

Please note: this practice is not suitable for pregnancy, less than 3 months postpartum or serious back/neck/shoulder conditions. Shoulderstand is not practised during menstruation, with high blood pressure or eye/ear conditions. An alternative will be given if you are not inverting on the day. If you have any injuries or health conditions and would like to join us, please contact Carol in advance.  

Sunday, 10am-11.45am (UK). Via Zoom.

Class date:  Sunday, 6 December 2020. 

How to book:
You're welcome to book with the sliding scale offered below.

Book Now £10 Book Now £15 Book Now £20

(If you currently have limited means and would like to join, please email me.)

What to bring:
Yoga mat, belt and 4-5 low blocks. Wall space. Chair (yoga chair or any other). Optional: 2 yoga bricks, bolster, blanket, eye pillow.

Joining instructions:
Once you've booked, you'll receive confirmation. A private link to join the class via Zoom will be emailed to you the day before the workshop. Please download the Zoom app here in advance if needed.

Just click on your link up to 5 minutes before the start time to join the class.

Looking forward to seeing you.