From Crow to Handstand, inversions can be the most beneficial (and fun!) postures in yoga, but are often the ones people find the hardest to do and the most daunting to try.
An inversion is any asana in which the head is below the heart. Down-dog, standing forward-folds, legs up the wall, and happy-baby all count but it’s when you move towards headstand, handstand, forearm stand and shoulder stand that the real magic happens…
Being upside-down has a multitude of benefits for the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. The most obvious benefit from inversions is that they can act as a natural ‘caffeine hit’. It works by stimulating the body’s sympathetic nervous system, or also known as “fight or flight” mode, where the body is moved into a state of readiness, and hence you feel more awake and alert. Furthermore, a regular practise of inversions can lead more prolonged mental benefits such as increased mental function, concentration and memory.
On an emotional level, inversions are known to help balance moods and aid in overcoming more serious issues such as chronic fear or anxiety. According to The Pradipika, the benefits of inversions go even further- they can even prolong life . Just 3 hours a day can “conquer old age and death”…definitely worth a try!
The whole practise of Yoga encourages us to move away from any unconscious habitual patterns, and inverting is simply another (arguably the best) way by which we can shake things up and step out of a rut. They bring a sense of freedom that reintroduce us to our inner child and remind us that while yoga is a contemplative endeavour in many ways, the asana practice is also a time to be playful and lighten-up!
Join us for a Handstand Prep Workshop with Mariel Witmond on Saturday 1st December from 13:30-15:30. To sign up, or find our more click here.