Shoulder Stand: How-to, Tips, Benefits

In our beginner yoga pose series, Michael Taylor from Strala Yoga in New York City, demonstrates and gives us the scoop on a Shoulder Stand.

How-to: Lie down on your back with arms alongside your body, and bring knees into your chest. With legs either bent or straight, lift your hips and reach your feet toward the floor behind your head. Interlace your fingers with arms straight on the ground, and squeeze your shoulder blades and elbows close together. Bend your elbows and support your middle back with your palms, fingers facing up. Either one at a time or together, lift your legs up vertical, gently pressing your knees and ankles together.

Tips: To lift your body more vertical, squeeze your ribs between your thumbs and forefingers, and gently lift your body up and forward. Use deep breaths to expand your chest and increase the distance between your shoulders and hips.

Benefits: Opens the neck and back. Good for circulation.

Michael Taylor is a yoga guide at Strala Yoga in New York City. (Michael prefers "guide" to "instructor"). He's practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than two decades. He holds a degree in mind-body medicine from Harvard, and studied alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. Mike is also the CEO of social media company Odyl, climbs a few mountains in his spare time, and is the husband of yoga master Tara Stiles.

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