You do yoga to improve your health and to live a more vibrant life. Inverted postures, or poses where your head is below your heart, have tremendous effects on your health and well being. The benefits are almost too numerous to mention but here is a great list to start!
1. Improves Circulation: Inversions give your heart a break while increasing the circulation of blood back to your heart. Freshly oxygenated blood makes its way to the brain, lungs, and the sensory organs as well as the extremities removing waste along the way, boosting the immune system, and regulating blood pressure.
2. Calms your mind and relieves stress: After just a few moments in an inverted posture, muscle tension decreases and the body, mind, and the nervous system begins to calm down. You move out of the “fight or flight” response and activate the parasympathetic system into a calmer more coherent place.
3. Strengthens your core stabilizing muscles: The muscles necessary to support you in an inversion are your deep postural muscles. Moving in and out of unsupported inverted postures as well as holding them for periods of time helps to strengthen these deep stabilizers which will now better support you even when you are upright.
4. Improves balance: Balance is improved both by the core strength that is cultivated and by the stimulation of the vestibular system in the inner ear.
5. Helps concentration and mental focus: Inversions bring oxygen to the brain which consumes 25% of the body’s oxygen. Maintaining an inverted pose is meditative and calming. When the brain is nourished and calmed your creativity is enhanced and your ability focus improves.
6. Fountain of youth: Inversions are said to be anti-aging by reversing the pull of gravity. In addition to all the other benefits inversions help to maintain the health of your spine. By preserving the natural curves of the spine and keeping space for the discs to stay hydrated, you will maintain your height as you age. (It is common for adults to shrink up to 2 inches due to thinning discs.)
7. Shifts your perspective: Turning upside down literally and metaphorically gives you a different outlook on life and challenging situations. Inversions help you learn to see and approach things from other points of view.
8. Builds confidence: When you can kick up to a handstand or even balance in an inversion anywhere, anytime, change and other life situations seem less scary.
9. Inversions are FUN: Let the inner child come out and play! Inversions boost your energy on a gloomy day and lighten your heart in a challenging situation.
I’m so excited I want to keep sharing the benefits with you! In addition to everything above, inversions reduce pain in sore and fatigued muscles, make space for the internal organs to function properly, open the diaphragm for improved breathing, reduce allergies, insomnia, digestive issues, depression, anxiety, and PMS! They help to strengthen bones, make your skin glow, and improve your energy levels. WOW!
Make sure to get upside down every day! Remember, child’s pose, downward dog, standing forward bend, and legs up the wall are all inverted postures.
Also practice handstand, dolphin pose, and forearm stand. Take the time to learn to safely perform headstand and shoulder stand from a knowledgeable teacher. I’m teaching a workshop mini-series so you can learn these poses safely and effectively, Please join me!
If you have health concerns, please check with a professional before trying these!