Inversion poses during yoga practice - Uni Yoga Dublin

Inversion poses during yoga practice

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Yoga Asana – Yoga poses
13/05/2020
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Yoga Asana – Downward facing dog
13/05/2020

Inversion poses during yoga practice

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There is no doubt that inversions leave you feeling strong and confident, especially inversions like a Headstand or Handstand.

Other than this, reduced stress levels, feeling happy., etc are common to any Yoga practice done with breath awareness. Isn’t it so? Isn’t the experience with inversion just temporary and suggests that we look inward for true happiness?

Inverted asanas or Yoga inversions are one of the most significant parts of  Yoga asana practice. They reverse the action of gravitational force on the body; the flow which is usually pulled towards the feet moves towards the head. This reverse movement helps us see things with a different perspective – the other way around, and often leaves us refreshed and revitalised.

Turning upside down is something that most children love. It excites them, makes them energetic, playful, happy and fearless. The same benefits apply to you when you practice an inversion. Inversions are fun and take you back to your childhood, making you a little more curious, playful and adventurous.

Inversions are basically positions where the heart is placed higher than the head, such as in a Headstand or Handstand.

But during your yoga practise, there are less complicated asanas which come in the semi-inverted category where the trunk and head are horizontal but the feet are raised above the head like in legs-up-the wall pose or pose where the head is below the trunk like in a Downward-Dog pose.

Traditionally, inverted asanas were practised to transform the sexual energy into spiritual energy by stimulating the chakras and raising the kundalini shakti. They were used as a tool to help the sadhak in meditation and concentration.

But, like with any other yoga asana, it is unlikely that an inverted pose alone can help someone progress in their spiritual practice.

There are other factors that determine one’s progress in the Yogic path; however, Yogis who practice inversions regularly have experienced reduced stress and anxiety levels, better mood, increase in concentration and self-confidence.

Common Tips and Observances

The duration can vary from a few breaths to up to 5 minutes or more. While beginners are advised to hold the posture only for a few seconds, regular practitioners are advised to increase the duration gradually, without exerting pressure or experiencing any pain or discomfort.

It is obvious that right-handed people will first lift the right leg which leads them into an inversion. But one should remember to counterbalance this movement and also practice with the left leg leading.

Always end an inverted pose with a savasana or Balasana, until the breath and heartbeat are completely normal. This can be followed by a counterpose.

Inversions are not meant for everyone and people recovering from a surgery, pregnant women, the elderly, and people suffering from inflammation, should first consult their physician and then practice under the guidance of a Yoga teacher who is well aware of the cautions and contraindications that are mentioned below.

As a beginner, it is advisable to practice in an empty space and use yoga blankets or headstand pillows as props to prevent injury and protect the neck, shoulders and crown. A wall is one of the most useful props for inversion practice.

Even when practising advanced inversions, a wall can really help with alignment and of course, prevent you from falling until you find the stability and balance.

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