Yoga Inversions: Benefits & How To Get Started
If you love all things yoga-related and have dreamed of perfecting inversions since…forever, then this article is for you!
Keep reading to find out about the benefits of yoga inversions and how you can get started.
What Are Yoga Inversions?
Inversions are a type of yoga pose where your head is placed lower than your heart. There are a variety of different ways to achieve this such as headstands, or even just simply hanging upside down.
In yoga, inversions are used to help move stagnant energy in the body. They also offer other health benefits and help to improve your balance. Some inversion yoga poses can also improve your core strength, build back muscle, and reduce stress.
3 Popular Yoga Inversions
Some examples of popular yoga inversions include:
Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
This pose is normally used in closing sequences for yoga. It helps you to connect with your parasympathetic nervous system and uses gravity to oxygenate the blood.
While headstands may seem difficult, as with anything, practice makes perfect. This pose is associated with the crown chakra and many yogis who practice routine headstands reap the benefits of self-discipline and improved memory.
Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
Handstands are an extremely popular yoga inversion pose due to how exhilarated they make you feel. This pose helps to activate your innate fight-flight-freeze response which can help to release tension stored in the body.
Related: What is Kundalini Yoga?
What Are The Benefits Of Yoga Inversions?
Yoga inversions offer a long list of health benefits. However, the amount of benefit you receive depends on your breath control. Take deep controlled inhales and exhales during and between each pose for maximum benefit
Here are the four primary health benefits that you can expect to experience when practicing yoga inversions.
1. Back Pain Relief
Yoga inversions help to release the tension and pressure that’s being placed on the spice by reversing gravity’s force. This is because spinal pain can be exacerbated by gravity adding unnecessary pressure, which is why people who experience back discomfort often spend a lot of time laying down for reprieve. So if you’re someone who experiences back pain regularly, trying out some inversions might be just what you’ve been looking for.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
During an inverted pose, the heart doesn’t need to work as hard to circulate oxygenated blood through the body. Blood pressure is lowered when your blood flow is reversed, which can help to deliver a sense of peace and calmness.
3. Feel Energized
Some yoga inversions such as headstands and handstands can move stagnant blood and help to oxygenate your brain, thus giving you the ultimate energy boost. Who needs coffee when you’ve got inversions?
4. Promote Lymphatic Drainage
Inversions are known to improve lymphatic function thanks to the light movement and oxygenation. When your lymphatic system isn’t functioning optimally you can begin to feel sluggish, lethargic, and even bloated. This is because your body isn’t filtering waste materials properly. Practicing yoga inversions can help stimulate your lymphatic system which will in turn improve immune function, lessen fluid retention and bloating, and alleviate any ongoing energy issues.
Related: Yin Yoga - Why You Should Try It
How to Get Started with Yoga Inversions
If you want to get started with yoga inversions there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Find the Right Teacher
If you’re just starting out on your inversion journey then finding the right teacher who can help guide you will be invaluable. Sure, you can practice at home, but you’ll feel more confident and learn faster having someone there to make sure you’re in alignment and correct your technique.
Start with Easy Poses
Some yoga inversions can be challenging, especially the first few months while you’re familiarizing yourself and learning. Choosing more beginner-friendly inversions, to begin with, is a good idea. Poses such as Plank pose, Downward and Upward dog are all great places to start!
Take Safety Precautions
We’re sure this goes without saying, but when practicing yoga poses you need to take safety into consideration. Make sure you have helpful props on hand such as straps, blankets, and blocks for support. Also, don’t forget to focus on your breath and keep your neck in a neutral position.
Practice Makes Perfect
No matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, practice really does make perfect. If you want to get started or even just get better at yoga inversions then you’re going to need to practice. A few times a week is more than enough to help you feel more confident and improve your technique.
So there you have it! Yoga inversions have many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, relieving back pain, improving lymphatic drainage, and energizing your body and mind. With the right teacher and safety practices, you can get started with yoga inversions and begin experiencing the full range of benefits they offer.
Have you tried yoga inversions before? If so, which poses did you choose? Let us know in the comment section below.