There are other inversions.

Inversions are seen as an intimidating concept.

Being inverted makes you think of inversion tables, that are put you upside down and then you are questioning whether you will make it up right again or whether you are supposed to be upside down for that long. And what happens if all the blood rushes to my head?

In yoga, we see the (oh so scary) goal of the handstand as the be all and end all of inversions. Usually people come to yoga with that as the end goal, then realize it takes years to get to, but also that there is far more to this little practice. Asanas are just beginning.

Now it is all well and good in saying, ‘I will one day do a handstand’. This can be a wonderful goal in your asana practice and has been one of my own. Nevertheless, it is unrealistic to say that by the end of our first class, we will have achieved it, unless we have a background in gymnastics or acrobatics.

Also, maybe a handstand is not our goal, we just want to explore our body, find what works, and enjoy the movements and breath work. Or possibly we believe them to be unnecessary for our practice, because let's be honest, when are you going to need to be on your hands for anything.

The big question is, Can we invert without having years of practice?

Well I am going to tell you that, inversions do not equal standing on your hands. Inversions are far more diverse than that.

I remember my brother telling me that as recovery to his Ironman training he would invert after. The studies of this are extensive, most aiming to reduce the build of lactic acid that comes after a long cardio session and also push yourself beyond your own limit in a workout. Nevertheless, my big brother wanted to hold these positions that are advanced asanas and if you have not got a solid asana practice can cause you harm. So as a concerned little sister and also a Yoga teacher, I informed him that he needed gentle inversions for recovery. If you are training for an Ironman or just working on your feet, maybe you just have a ton of stairs in your house, everyone can and should do gentle inversions.

Inversion do not just aid in recovery after a workout, but also helps circulation, activates parasympathetic part of the nervous system, which is your ‘rest and digest’ side are the nerves which calms you, and can build confidence for those more advanced positions, from downward facing dog to handstand.

Yes, you heard it, our trusty downdog is an inversion. Also, while my brother was attempting a headstand, he could have gotten into Downward facing dog.

I am going to make it even more simple for you though. Maybe you want something a bit more beginner friendly or possibly more relaxing. Well, I give you legs up the wall, and just pop a cushion under the hips, or a supported bridge pose with a block under the bum or even a forward fold with your knees bent. These are our lovely gentle inversions, that once you try, you will genuinely love and practise regularly.

I hope this was helpful, this article is linked to a YouTube video of a class with these accessible positions in. I hope you enjoy. x


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