When we mention inversions, many of us tend to think of advanced postures that involve standing on our head or our hands, however there are many inversions that don’t involve complex arm balances or crazy strength. For example take the classic downward facing dog, an essential component of Sun Salutations this inversion is often done many times during a yoga class. It can be used as a transitional pose, a resting pose and as a strength-builder. So what are inversions? Inversions are postures where the heart is higher than the head.

 

We spend most of our lives upright, with our head above our heart which of course – is how we were designed and we wouldn’t work any other way. However, inversions are amazing for taking the load from our hearts which offers a range of benefits to our bodies. When practiced correctly, inversions can have a positive effect on the lymphatic system, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.

 

BENEFITS OF GETTING UPSIDE DOWN:
Improves circulation

Going upside down and against gravity moves the oxygenated blood back to your heart. Inversions give it that extra boost which improves your circulation. While all this is going on you are also increasing the flow of blood to the brain which can improve mental function, concentration and focus.

 

Improves lymph flow 

The lymphatic system is known as your sewage system, the immune system, which picks up toxins and excess bacteria from the body, carrying them to the different lymph sites (lymph nodes) to be eliminated. Our bodies rely on gravity and muscular action to move the lymph. Moving your body into an inversion can greatly help in the elimination of these waste products. 

 

Relieves back pain 

Our spines are under quite a lot of daily pressure, particularly now that we have such poor posture due to desk jobs and constant electronic device work. Inversions, because working against gravity allow the body to pull in the opposite direction and so can help to relieve pressure on the spine.  Practicing an inversion for just a few minutes a day can significantly improve back pain.  Postures such as legs against the wall or shoulder stand are great to help alleviate back pain. 

 

YOGA INVERSIONS:

  • Dolphin pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana )

  • Downward dog (adho mukha svanasana )

  • Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)

  • Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

  • Plow pose (Halasana)

  • Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)

  • Supported shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)

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