Change your mind, change your perspective. By getting yourself upside down in an inverted yoga pose, you are literally and figuratively changing your perspective on the world and the way you see it. These poses can be humbling and uplifting at the same time, and there are many powerful mental and physical benefits to practicing them.
Inversions are often seen as intimidating, advanced poses that only the most experienced yogis can accomplish. But that isn’t the case! There are many inverted poses that a beginner can easily do in their very first session and begin to receive all the benefits inversions have to offer.
My kids love to do inversions, especially my middle daughter. At any given time you will see her at our house, at the park, just about anywhere doing handstands or flipping herself over on the couch. She loves being upside down! For the simple reason that it’s fun. Adults aren’t too old to have fun with inversions too!
Besides just being a good time, there are many serious mental and physical benefits to inverting every day.
Improved blood circulation
When you position your head beneath your heart (i.e., go upside down), you are using the force of gravity to reverse the direction of blood flow. This increases blood circulation to the brain. When you bring all that oxygenated blood to the brain all of its functions are improved.
Detoxifies the body
Inversions stimulate the lymphatic system, which is a chain of tissues and organs in the immune system. This system is responsible for ridding the body of waste and toxins.
When the body is rid of toxins, its essential immune functions perform much better. This will help to keep you healthy and virus free even through the winter.
Increasing oxygenated blood flow to the brain will increase your energy levels. This will leave you feeling rejuvenated, focused and alert. Inversions that stretch the spine into a backbend position, such as wheel, are especially energizing.
Builds core strength
Hate crunches? Pop into an inverted pose to train and tighten your core just as effectively.
Calms the mind
While handstands are highly invigorating, more gentle inversions such as legs up on a wall, shoulder stand or even downward-facing dog work to calm the mind and have a cooling effect.
Inversion poses you can try, in order of difficulty:
Legs up on a wall
Wide-legged forward fold
Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll discuss preparing your body and mind to perform challenging inversions, beginning with baby crow and crow.