This is a mysterious Asana which gives wonderful benefits. This is termed "all-members' pose," because all the parts of the body are engaged when this Asana is performed.
Spread a thick blanket on the floor and practise this Asana over blanket. Lie on the back quite flat. Slowly raise the legs. Lift the trunk, hips and legs quite vertically. Support the back with two hands, one on each side. Rest the elbows on the ground. Press the chin against the chest and form a chin-lock firmly, Jalandhara Bandha. Allow the back, shoulder portion and neck to touch the ground closely. Do not allow the body to shake or move to and fro. Keep the legs straight. When the Asana is over, bring the legs down very, very slowly with elegance and not with any jerks. Do the Asana very gracefully. In this Asana the whole weight of the body is thrown on the shoulders. You really stand on the shoulders with the help and support of the elbows. Concentrate on the thyroid gland which lies on the front lower part of the neck. Retain the breath as long as you can do with comfort and slowly exhale through the nose.
You can do this Asana daily twice, morning and evening. This should immediately be followed by Matsyasana (fish posture). This will relieve pains in the back part of the neck and intensify the usefulness of Sarvangasana. Practise this Asana for two minutes in the beginning and gradually increase it to half an hour.
In this Asana, the thyroid gland is nourished properly which plays a prominent part in the metabolism, growth, nutrition and structure. Healthy thyroid means healthy function of the circulatory, respiratory, alimentary, genito-urinary and nervous systems of the body. This thyroid operates in conjunction with other ductless glands, pituitary, pineal in the brain, suprarenal above the kidneys, liver, spleen, testes. If this thyroid is diseased all the other glands suffer. A vicious circle is formed. Sarvangasana keeps a healthy thyroid. Healthy thyroid means healthy functioning of all the organs of the body.
I have taught this Asana to hundreds of persons. I have started a Sirsha-Sarvanga Propaganda. I generally recommend these two Asanas, combined with Paschimottanasana invariably to those who approach me. These three Asanas alone can keep you in perfect health. You need not take any long walk or physical exercise. All have unanimously reported to me of the wonderful, mysterious, beneficial results of this Asana. As soon as you come down from the Asana, it braces you up and gives a new vigorous, healthy tone. It is an ideal "pick-me-up".
It supplies a large quantity of blood to the spinal roots of nerves. It is this Asana which centralises the blood in the spinal column and nourishes beautifully. But for this Asana there is no scope for these nerve-roots to draw sufficient blood-supply. It keeps the spine quite elastic. Elasticity of the spine means everlasting youth. It prevents the bone from early ossification (hardening). So you will preserve and retain your youth for a long time. This Asana destroys the ravages of old age. It helps a lot in maintaining Brahmacharya. Like Sirshasana, it makes you an Urdhvareto-Yogi. It checks wet-dreams effectively. It acts as a powerful blood tonic and purifier. It tones the nerves. It is a cheap, readily available blood, nervine and digestive tonic. It is at your disposal at all times. It will save your doctor's bills. When you have not much time to practise a course of Asanas, do this without fail daily along with Sirshasana and Paschimottanasana. It is useful in gonorrhoea and other diseases of bladder and ovaries. It removes sterility and diseases of womb. Ladies also can practise this Asana with safety. Sarvangasana awakens Kundalini and augments the Jatharagni (digestive fire). It removes dyspepsia, constipation and other gastro-intestinal disorders of a chronic nature. It energises, invigorates and vivifies. A course of Sirsha-Sarvangasana powerfully rejuvenates.