Do you need a change of pace? Are you ready to tap into your inner child and become more playful in your yoga practice, yet desire to shift your physical, mental, and emotional viewpoint too? This week, we’re thrilled to offer four new classes focused on how inversions and going upside down benefits you.
Technically, an inversion in yoga is anything that brings your hips above your heart and your heart above your head. Downward-facing dog and standing forward bends can be considered inversions. Some inversions build heat and energy, like handstands and forearm stands. Others like headstands and shoulder stand act to calm the nervous system. Assuming you are physically healthy and aren’t dealing with injuries to your neck or shoulders, low blood pressure, or glaucoma, there’s an inversion to benefit you.
If you already love turning your world upside down and are a master at handstand or Scorpion pose, you’ll enjoy some fresh flows from some of your favorite teachers. If, however, you avoid inversions because you believe they aren’t accessible, give us a moment to share why we think you should give them a try.
Inversions build upper body strength, core strength, and provide a powerful boost to your circulatory system. Yogis believe by going upside down, you can stimulate digestion and lymphatic flow, encouraging a healthier immune system. Having your head below your heart reverses the flow of gravity and it floods your skin with oxygen and blood flow, so you appear younger. Who doesn’t enjoy glowing skin?
Shifting gravity can help increase memory, concentration, and awareness by providing more oxygen and blood flow to the brain. This increased blood flow can stimulate endorphins and release “feel good” chemicals to help combat depression and mood swings as well as boosting the health of your brain.
Inversions also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which produces feelings of relaxation and calmness and can aid you in achieving more restful sleep. Spending some time in an inverted position can encourage a more positive outlook each day. A regular yoga practice helps us shed old habits, which may no longer be serving us and jumpstart change and new beginnings. Trying something new like balancing on your hands can generate fear, but mastering a new skill can create confidence.
Proponents of going upside down believe you truly see the world from a new perspective and the benefits can be taken off the mat with you for the rest of your day and life. Inversions are fun and remind us to continue to feed our inner child and never stop playing.
Take your time to learn proper alignment for postures new to you and also work up to the final pose. Practice at the wall, use props, and modify if necessary. Remember the benefits of Legs up the Wall are the same as a full shoulder stand. Find the version that makes you happy and is appropriate for where you are today.
Press play and have fun with one or all of these new practices:
1. Keith Allen - Turn Your Day Around
2. Shy Sayar - The Safe Path to Headstand
3. Jill Pedroza - Flow and Flight
4. Jack Cuneo - Once More Into Handstand, Dear Friends
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