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Sarvangasana: The Mother of All Poses!



"Sarva" means the whole, "Anga" means body, or limb or part. Hence, the "Sarvanga" is the whole body, all the limbs. The name is derived from the fact that the whole body benefits from this pose. The benefits of this pose are incredibly numerous. It helps those suffering from several nasal disturbances, the commom cold, hypertension, irritability, sleeplessness, shortness of temper, constipation, urinary disorders, menstrual troubles, piles and hernia, to name just a few. (Note on pronunciation: the "a" at the end of these words, as indeed at the end of the word "Asana" is very, very short.
The picture shows the final pose.

To start with, lie flat on the floor. The arms should rest along the sides, palms downwards. Exhale once, bend the knees, and bring them up towards the chin till the thighs press the stomach. Breathe normally.

Now, exhale and supporting the buttocks with the hands, raise the trunk till it becomes perpendicular to the floor. Now, your body will be supported by the back of the head, the neck, the shoulders and the backs of the arms up to the elbows. To push the trunk into the vertical position, you will need to gradually move the hands towards the waist. The head continues to rest on the floor, so that the trunk also becomes perpendicular to the head. Once it is correctly perpendicular, the chin will touch the chest.

Now, raise the legs and make them vertical, in line with the trunk, with the toes pointing upwards. Breathe evenly, calmly and easily. Stay in the pose for a few minutes and feel the good it is doing you.

To release the pose, gently move the legs downwards, release the hands and let the body become flat again. You may also bring the legs down so that the knees approach the ears, and then gradually bring the legs down. Be gentle on your body. Never apply excessive stress. To start with, practise the initial position, drawing the knees towards the chin.

Release the pose gently.

Remember the usual mantra: when practicing Yoga, be gentle, work your way up gradually. Never try to reach absolute perfection in the pose at the first go. If you have any doubt whatsover,  consult your physician or a qualified person first. In case you have any problems such as blood pressure or heart trouble consult an experienced teacher first!

If you practise this pose regularly over some time, you will feel like a new person. .
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