Yoga inversions are among the most important asanas in the practice of hatha yoga. There are a number of reasons for this, let’s see why
Inversted asanas are all those when the pelvis is above the head, and the body position is upside down. These are many asanas, the most popular are shirshasana, viparita – karani, hasta – vrikshasana, sarvangasana, halasana.
Yoga Inversions Benefits
Inversion poses change the direction of blood flow in the body. When the legs and pelvis are above the head, blood flows to the brain more intensely. It has a beneficial effect: it improves all brain functions, boosts cells regeneration. The pituitary gland is one of the main important glands of our body. Our life and healthy existence depends on it. Inverted asanas nourish the pituitary with blood, and as a result, it improves its functional abilities. All our body in general begins to work more efficiently.
In addition, the inversion poses perfectly massage and nourish another important gland of our body – the thyroid. Nowadays, the dysfunction of the thyroid gland is a common problem. Inversion asanas have a good stimulating effect on it.
These positions also improve flexibility of the spine, water-salt balance due to the outflow of the blood from the kidneys.
In addition, the inversion poses affect the higher energy centers (vishudha, ajna, sahasrara) and help to awaken the Kundalini energy.
Starting to perform yoga inversions, you need to prepare your body for this. Jumping on your head without training is not a good solution! First, you need to practice for a while other yoga asanas. They will strengthen the muscles of the neck, back, arms, improve the flexibility of the spine. Only then you can proceed to inverted poses.
If you only start practicing yoga inversions, you can use various auxiliary yoga tools.
It is important to practice inverted asanas on an empty stomach, 2 to 3 hours after the last meal. In general, these poses have an excellent effect if performing them in the morning. It will give you the energy for the whole day, much better than coffee or tea!
Very important to use a solid mat under the head, use a blanket, it can be even rolled up several times. It will protect your cervical vertebrae and the crown from injury.
Increase the time spent in inversions very gradually. Start from 1 minute and slowly increase the duration. Otherwise, there may be too sudden and unusual blood inflow to the head and you might be not prepared for this.
You should always enter into yoga inversion carefully and mindfully! Perform savasana for at least 2 minutes after it, so your body could adapt to the changes.
Remember that inverted asanas are not power, not dynamic, they are relaxing and meditative. Approach them accordingly: be relaxed, in a calm state of mind, relax your whole body, legs, genital area, neck.
And finally, it is better to master yoga inversions under the guidance of a good instructor, and only then proceed to independent practice
Sirsasana or Headstand
- Put the blanket on the floor.
- Sit on your knees, make a triangle with your hands and place them on the floor. Elbows shoulders width apart, hands on the floor.
- Now put the crown of your head on the blanket, in between the hands.
- Slowly raise your knees, with straight legs try to move your feet to the head as close as possible. The most weight should be on your forearms and shoulders!
- If you managed to keep the balance, try to straighten the legs, achieving a perfectly flat axis. The body should be completely perpendicular to the floor.
- To come out of Sirsana:
- bend the knees,
- bend at the hips, slowly come down to the mat,
- Stay in Child’s Pose for 1 minute before lifting the head.
This asana has a beneficial effect on the entire body. The constant practice purifies blood and the lymphatic system, improves the functions of the brain. It is also a prevention of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. This pose helps to open upper chakras.
Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand
- Lay down on a rolled-up blanket, stretch out.
- When inhaling, begin to raise the hips and legs up, while lowering the arms along the body.
- Rest your elbows on the floor and help with your hands to raise the body in a vertical position. The chin should touch the chest, palms on the back supporting the body.
- The body is straight, perpendicular to the floor. All body weight on the shoulders!
It is believed that sarvangasana enhances the feminine energies, in contrast to the more “male” Shirshasana. It improves the blood supply to the brain and to the lungs. This asana is good for people with lung diseases, asthmatics. In this asana, jalandhara bandha (throat lock) is involuntarily held. This lock perfectly stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands. In addition, sarvangasana treats a runny nose and headaches, improves the functions of the genital organs, treats female disorders.
Halasana or Plow pose
- Lay down on your back, stretch your body, stretch your arms behind your head, relax.
- Inhale, lift your legs and hips and place your feet behind your head.
- Take the feet with your hands, the whole body lies ONLY on the shoulder blade.
- The chin is bent to the chest, the back is relaxed.
This yoga asana perfectly heals the spine. It stretches, massages each vertebra, the back becomes more flexible. The throat lock stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands. It stimulates the pituitary gland, improves the function of the kidneys and adrenal glands as well as the functioning of the genitals. It also Improves the cardiovascular system.