Shoulder-Pressing Pose

Definition - What does Shoulder-Pressing Pose mean?

Shoulder-pressing pose is a balancing yoga posture that strengthens the upper body. In this posture, the legs wrap around the shoulders, or upper arms, and the ankles cross as the whole weight of the body is supported by the arms and balanced on the palms of the hands.

This is an important pose in yoga for building upper body and core strength and improving balance. It is considered a challenging posture, especially for beginners, because of the arm/shoulder strength and overall flexibility required. In easier variations, the ankles may remain uncrossed and/or the toes may touch the ground.

Shoulder-pressing pose is also referred to by its Sanskrit name, bhujapidasana.

Yogapedia explains Shoulder-Pressing Pose

Some of the benefits of this challenging pose include:

  • Improved balance.
  • Improved flexibility throughout the body, especially the hips and lower back.
  • Strengthening of the wrists, arms and shoulders.
  • Toning of the core/abdominal muscles.
  • Relief of stress and headaches by improved blood flow.

It is also believed to nourish the thyroid gland, thereby controlling the heart rate, balancing the nervous system and helping regulate the body's metabolism. Despite its benefits, shoulder-pressing pose should be avoided by anyone who suffers from lower back, elbow, wrist or shoulder injuries. It is also not a good pose for someone with high blood pressure.

Beginners may use a yoga block to support the buttocks or try one of the preparatory poses, such as seated baby cradle pose or elephant's trunk pose. The latter is halfway to shoulder-pressing pose, as it involves just one leg wrapped around the shoulder with the other leg extended straight.

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