Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the third of the Yamas – Asteya or Non-Stealing. Since we are in the middle of an April Daily Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Salamba Sarvangasana (Sah-LAHM-ba Sar-vahn-GAH-sa-nuh) or Supported Shoulder Stand is my choice to represent Asteya since this is a supported balancing pose, and one way to practice Asteya is examining and maintaining balance in our relationships, making sure to support those who support us.
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Asteya Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative class.
I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Balance (30 Minute), which includes series moving between Salamba Sarvangasana / Supported Shoulder Stand and Halasana / Plow Pose!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Salamba Sarvangasana / Supported Shoulder Stand for Asteya Day! This is a challenging inversion. If you are a new yogi, only come up as high as you are comfortable! We will start from corpse, and use the core to lift into this Asana.
If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Asteya Day – perform a random act of generosity!
Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand
Feet and Legs – Start laying on your back in Shavasana / Corpse pose, with knees bent. As you press palms into the mat, use your core to lift your legs as close to perpendicular to the floor as you are comfortable. Try to use your core and bring your entire body into a straight line if possible. This is one of the few Asanas where it is best to keep your toes pointed, for balance. Keep your legs supported with your arms, perhaps just stay in Ardha Sarvangasana / Half Shoulder Stand (image below) until you build balance and core strength to bring your legs and torso closer to a straight line.
Torso and Head – You will lift your torso from the floor to come into this inversion. Allow your chin to come to your chest. Make sure you do not turn your head or neck to either side in this or any inversion to avoid injury.
Arms – Start in Shavasana / Corpse pose, with knees bent and palms resting on the floor next to your hips. To come into the pose, press your hands firmly into the mat for leverage to lift your legs and torso off the floor. Once you are able, turn your fingers in and grab your hips, using your hands and arms to support your lower body in this inversion.
To come out of this pose, lower your hips and legs over your head into Ardha Sarvangasana as pictured below, release your hands to the mat, and slowly unroll your body down to the mat into Shavasana / Corpse.
PS If you are comfortable with variations of this pose, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!
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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried either version of Sarvangasana / Shoulder Stand before? Always remember, be kind!