Ayurveda Pitta Pacifying Yoga: Half Shoulder Stand | Banyan Botanicals

Half Shoulder Stand (Ardha Sarvangasana)

A Pitta Pacifying Yoga Pose

Half Shoulder Stand

It is a good idea to practice this pose with the assistance of a folded blanket. The pose begins by lying on your back with the legs extended on the ground and the arms along side your body palms facing down. Place the folded blanket under your back so that you have the folded edge at the base of the neck. Your neck should have space between it and the floor. This protects the cervical spine and allows the neck to be long and the throat open. Press the arms into the earth and with a deep breath in, reach the legs up to 90 degrees. Lift the hips off the floor as you place your hands onto the space next to your sacrum (the sacrum is the wide flat bone at the base of your spine). Extend the legs straight at 45 degrees. Flex the feet and work to bring the elbows close into the body in order to further roll the shoulders underneath you. Hold for as many breaths as is comfortable for you. To release the pose, bring the arms back along side your body and engage the abdomen as you gently roll each vertebrae to the floor until the hips rest on the ground. Slowly lower the legs as you keep the abdomen engaged. If you feel any compression on the neck, do not practice this pose.

Pitta Focus:

Breathe fully and be gentle. Encourage the opening at the solar plexus by bringing the elbows into the body so you can roll the shoulder blades closer together.


Tones the abdominal organs, soothes headaches, stimulates the thyroid, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, creates space in the chest, and uplifts to the spirit.