Holding a vertical shoulder stand is something I find pleasant for short periods of time. I enjoy inversions very much, but finding one that was comfortable and sustainable has been hard. Shoulder stand for me normally ends up in a plow or a dead mans pose, however One of my favorite things to do as a core building exercise is to go from plow to shoulder stand and back again keeping my legs straight and core tight. Almost like a reverse sit up. Over all though Shoulder stand is one of the most passive balancing inversions I can do especially when compared to a headstand, forearm stand or hand stand. This is so for two reasons, one being that I find that there are not as many poses I can do while in shoulder stand compared to the millions of arm balances available from a head, forearm, or hand stand positions, and also it is simple for me to find a balancing point where I can relax most of my body while in this inversion. In my practice I clasp my hands behind my back for shoulder stand, because for me it gives me more stability that with my hands flat on the floor, I do the same in bridge. I do not recommend this for everyone though because as much as it is an aid for me, it can be a hindrance for someone else.
1. Start by laying on your back, on the ground in savasana.
2. Extend your arms as far down on either side of you as you can pulling shoulders away from the ears and pressing the fingertips and palms into the ground.
3. Bending at the hips allow the legs to come up into the air into a verticle position. Creating 90 degree angle or more from the floor.
4. Then using your core begin to lift your buttocks and back off the floor. Keep your hands pressed into the floor for support and balance. If it is in your practice to clasp your hands behind your back then you may do that for additional support.
Hands clasped behind back Hands pressed into the back
5. Making sure not to scrunch the neck continue lifting your back off the ground until you are standing on your shoulders.
Stretches your shoulders and improves flexibility of your upper spine
Strengthens the heart and respiratory system
Combats the common cold by Flushing mucous from your lungs
Calms the brain and nervous system therefore helps to relieve stress
Improves digestion and massages and stimulates the thyroid and prostate glands and may reduces constipation