An inversion in yoga is a posture where the head is positioned below the heart. Most of the time we think of these as advanced poses, such as handstand or shoulder stand, however there are more accessible and gentler variations you can take. Asanas like Downward Dog and Legs up the wall are considered inversions and will give you many of the same benefits as the more advanced postures. Those with injuries and limitations such as high blood pressure should speak to their doctor before attempting any inversions.
10 Reasons to Get Upside Down:
1. Encourages Blood Circulation – gravity does the work by promoting fresh blood flow throughout the entire body.
2. Improves Concentration – oxygen to the brain is increased, leaving us feeling invigorated and more alert.
3. Strengthens the Immune System – getting upside down helps the body release toxins and bacteria which are eliminated by the lymph nodes.
4. Alleviates Mild Back Pain – inversions help the spine to decompress, relieving pressure and easing back pain.
5. Strengthens Your Core – the inner abdominal muscles are required to get into, out of, and to hold many unsupported inversions.
6. Relaxing – legs ups the wall and other cooling inversions help calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and create a sense of serenity.
7. Builds Confidence – facing our fears teaches us to overcome our reservations, and accomplishing new things is highly rewarding.
8. Increases Body Awareness – moving into unique postures forces us to be more conscious of our body in space.
9. Provides a New Perspective – getting upside down literally changes our viewpoint and gives us a fresh outlook in other aspects of our lives.
10. Mood Boosting – Inversions are fun! Once you become more comfortable with inversions you can practice them anywhere and all of the time. Practicing a headstand on the grass or handstands on the beach adds playfulness and joy to your everyday life.