The sequence from shoulder stand to fish pose in yoga has amazing benefits. Shoulder stand, often called the queen of poses, is an inversion that can help balance the thyroid and sooth the nervous system. Shoulder stand offers other benefits of inversions as well, such as helping blood flow to brain, relieving swelling in the legs, and soothing head pain.
Whether you include other poses in the sequence from shoulder stand to fish pose, always end with fish pose. As a counter-pose to shoulder stand, fish poses neutralizes pressure on the neck and spine. It’s also a good heart opener and back bend.
Coming into Shoulder Stand
There are several ways to come into shoulder stand. You can begin lying on your back with your feet facing a wall. Bend your knees and place your feet on the wall with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Press your feet into the wall and lift your pelvis. Place your hands on your low back for support and walk your feet as far up the wall as you comfortably can.
Stay there or come into full shoulder stand by lifting your legs from the wall up to the ceiling. Keep your neck long and look straight up to your toes. Your head should be still to protect your neck.
Remember to keep breathing!
Other Poses in the Sequence from Shoulder Stand to Fish Pose
Before you end the sequence from shoulder stand to fish pose, there are some other poses you can do. Many yogis move from shoulder stand to plow and from plow to ear pressure pose before ending the sequence. We’ll look at these additional poses in more detail in a future post.
As mentioned, fish pose is the counter-pose to shoulder stand, so it’s always a good idea to practice shoulder stand and fish together.
How to Practice Fish Pose
To come into fish pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Lift your pelvis up, slide your hands, palms down, under your bottom. Bring your elbows close to your rib cage and place your bottom back down on your hands. With an inhale, press into your arms to lift your upper torso and head. On an exhale place your head back down without putting any weight on your head.
Depending on your level of back and chest flexibility, have either your back or the crown of your head touching the floor. Stay here for a few deep breaths, then release the pose and bring your whole body back down to the floor.
In classical yoga, the sequence from shoulder stand to fish pose is one of the more beneficial pose pairs. Are these poses a regular part of your yoga practice?