If your strength and balance permit, assume the classic shoulderstand and then remove your hands from their supporting position on the upper back. You can place them in one of three positions: behind the back against the floor, with the arms and forearms extended as much as you can manage; overhead against the floor, with the arms flexed 90°; or alongside the thighs, with the arms adducted to a neutral position.
Hgure 9.4. The beginning shoulderstand (a) is a straighter version of the inverted action pose, with the head still freely movable, the feet slightly overhead, little or no traction in the neck, and the hands situated comfortably to support the posture. The classic shoulderstand (b) is a more advanced posture It is strongly supported by bracing the hands higher up on the back, and for the first time we see the sternum pressing firmly against the chin, thus creating traction in the neck. The hips should be tightly contracted, and the lower extremities held straight, so the body as a whole is not passive but aids the upper extremities in maintaining the posture.
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