What Is Yoga Inversion

What Is Yoga Inversion?

Yoga inversions are poses in which the head is lower than the heart. Inversions can range from beginner floor poses in which the spine remains in a neutral position, to more complex poses, such as handstands, that involve a significant degree of flexibility, strength and balance.

Benefits of Inversion

Inversions have many benefits, both physical and mental. Practicing inversions can:

  • Improve flexibility and strength, allowing your body to move freely.
  • Help strengthen the spine while improving posture.
  • Improve circulation, which increases oxygen and helps heal tired muscles and tired eyes.
  • Build body and mind awareness, allowing you to better listen to your body’s needs.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Boost energy levels with increased blood flow.

Types of Inversion

Inversions can range from beginner to advanced and can be performed with a variety of props. Some common inversions and their props include:

Inversion PoseTypical Prop
Supported Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)chair or wall
Down Dog on Stoolstool
Easy Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)wall and/or foam blocks
Full Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)wall

Precautions and Safety Tips

Yoga inversions can be beneficial, but it is important to practice them correctly and safely. If you are new to inversions, it is recommended to begin by developing the core, upper body, and leg strength and flexibility needed for inversions.

It is important to build up slowly to inversions. Never force yourself into an inversion – always move slowly and with awareness. Here are some other tips to keep in mind when practicing inversions:

  1. Warm up with some light stretching and sun salutations prior to inversions.
  2. Start with beginner inversions using props, such as wall, chair or stool.
  3. Check in with your body. Never push yourself too hard or too far into a pose.

  4. Take breaks in between inversions to rest, regroup, and adjust.
  5. Come out of the inversion slowly and with control.
  6. Listen to your body and make sure to practice samyama — perfect balance of effort and ease.

Yoga inversions can be a great way to challenge your practice and increase strength and flexibility. Remember to practice caution and use props to support the body. Let the inversion flow from the grounding of the body to the sky and move with awareness.

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