Most people spend most of their waking hours walking or sitting upright to deliver oxygenated blood throughout their bodies. Their hearts are always located below their heads. Inversion yoga poses can help to relieve the strain on your heart and offer many other benefits.
Over time, we can see how gravity affects our bodies. Fluid retention, poor circulation, and spinal pain are all symptoms of gravity. Inversions flip the force of gravity, allowing tissues to drain and congestion to clear. Your heart can pump more efficiently and easily as blood flows through your vital organs. When done correctly and consistently, inversions can positively impact your lymphatic, nervous, cardiovascular, and other systems.
Inversions are beneficial for yoga practitioners
If you find these postures uncomfortable or difficult, it is best to practice modifications. You may be better off working on modifications or simply focusing on other Yoga poses to strengthen these areas if you find the postures difficult or uncomfortable. Inversions have five major benefits.
Lower blood pressure. Inversions cause the fluids to move toward the heart. This means the heart does not have to work as much to circulate oxygenated, healthy blood throughout the body. You’ll feel calmer and more relaxed with the blood flow reversed. It is especially beneficial for people with high blood pressure. However, you should only practice mild inversions.
Relief for back pain. The pressure of gravity can exacerbate back pain, which is why many people with back pain spend so much time lying down. Inversions help relieve back pain by reversing the force of gravity, which allows it to pull the spine gently in the opposite direction. It can help improve posture and relieve back pain.
Improved drainage of lymphatic fluids. If the lymphatic system doesn’t work as well, we can experience poor circulation, fluid retention, and waste buildup. Gravity can cause fluids in the lower extremities to accumulate. However, you may be surprised at how uncomfortable and sluggish this can make us feel. Inversions can help your lymphatic systems work correctly, allowing fluids to drain and your body to filter waste. Your lymphatic system stimulated can improve immune response. It can also minimize fluid retention and alleviate congestion.
Inversions can help you feel more energetic and energized. Inversions such as Handstand, Headstand, and Forearm Balance help to move oxygen, blood, and energy into the brain.
Increase your confidence. Full inversions require core strength, balance, and focus. The determination needed to master advanced inversions can be transferred off the yoga mat into increased self-esteem.
Inversions for beginners
There are many mild, easy poses where the head is below the heart while the legs are above it. These beginner inversions offer many benefits without the dangers of more advanced poses. These poses will help develop the core and upper body strength needed to perform full inversions.
Half shoulder stand (Viparita Karani), or Legs up the Wall Pose
Forward Fold Pose – Uttanasana
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Headstand Pose (Sirshasana).
Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)
Inversions of the traditional pose
Inversions are a few traditional poses that can only be taught by a yoga teacher. These poses are listed from intermediate to advanced difficulty.
Knee to Ear Pose
Halasana (Plow Pose)
Shoulderstand (Salamba sarvangasana).
Wheel Pose – Chakrasana
Headstand – Salamba Shirshasana
Handstand Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Pose of the Feathered Peacock (Pincha Mayurasana).
Scorpion Pose (Vrischikasana)
Yoga inversions: Tips and tricks for practicing them
Inverted poses can be challenging and are considered advanced yoga asanas. Inversions are difficult and require patience.
Be sure to inform your instructor of any medical conditions or injuries you may have. This will help them determine the best poses for you. Inversions may be restricted if you have had neck injuries in the past or high blood pressure.
Always be gentle. Do not force any pose or inversion if you don’t feel right. Ask your instructor for help to ensure that you move into each inverted position comfortably and easily. This will prevent injury.
Do your homework. Find the prerequisite poses for the inversions you wish to learn and practice them to improve strength, flexibility, and alignment awareness.
Be mindful and move slowly. Avoid the temptation to leap into inverted positions. Slowly moving into the poses will help build core strength and give you the awareness and mindfulness needed to achieve correct alignment.
Protect your neck. You must use core and upper arm strength in many inversions to avoid excess weight or pressure on the cervical spinal column. Avoid moving the neck when there is pressure or weight on it. Instead, get out of the asana to readjust.
Focus and concentration are required for challenging poses. Skip inversions if you feel scattered and distracted. Wait until your mind has settled down and is more focused. Use a Drishti for concentration and focus.
Use a wall to support you as you learn the pose. You can also work with a friend to help you support yourself as you practice the poses.
Attend an inversion workshop. For more information on correctly executing inversions, you can attend a workshop. Many studios have two-hour workshops that help you learn about proper alignment and get personal instruction to safely progress into inversion poses.