A New Perspective: Inversions
When I first starting practicing, I would avoid inversions any way possible. If I knew a teacher was fond of cueing headstands, or if a class was known to work on moving into inversions, I just did not take it. Little did I know how important those inversions would become in defining my journey.
I was under the misconception that inversions meant headstands and handstands, and although these are the most recognized, an inversion is any pose in which the heart is below the head. Downward facing dog, legs up the wall and even happy baby can be considered gentle inversions. Knowing that I was already practicing inversions somehow helped to alleviate the fear of trying a more intense inversion. I now incorporate headstands in my regular practice.
I believe many people are like I was in the their fear of be being upside down. What if I fall? I am not strong enough to try. Let the young yogis do that. It may be flippant to say JUST DO IT but I want to encourage all of you to work toward headstand. The benefits are incredible. You may have known that headstands increase deep core muscles and improve circulation but did you know that headstands decrease the onset of varicose veins, eliminate the risk of several types of stroke, reduce the onset of gray hair and decrease the occurrence of depressive episodes? Not to mention it looks pretty darn impressive!
So how do you start? Rarely, although not impossible, will you get to full headstand on your first try. It will take a little practice and a little more trust in your body. Follow these 4 steps and you will looking up from a new perspective in no time:
1 – Increase your upper body strength through the practice of downward facing dog, high plank, dolphin plank, dolphin pose
2- Use the wall. Kneel in front of the wall, Come to your forearms and interlock your fingers creating a cradle for your head. Place your head securely in the cradle and lift your hips walking toward your head. Using your core strength lift your legs and bring them to the wall. You are essentially in a headstand using the wall as your guide.
3- Let go. You can do this. Tell yourself you can. You are strong and are building a solid foundation. Let yourself be upside down. Give yourself permission!
4 – Practice. Daily practice will help you build strength and confidence.
Before you start be sure to consider safety and alignment. Check out some videos or ask your favorite Raw Renewal instructor for assistance. We are always eager to help.