November 2, 2019
Today we worked on inversions in class. There is a suggestd progression to work through. First pose is Forward Fold (Uttanasana), Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) ,Crow (Kakasana), Halasana (plow pose), shoulder stand (Sarvangasana), Sirsasana (headstand), handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana), Pincha Mayurasana. (forearm stand).
So many benefits to going upside down:
1. IMPROVE CIRCULATION IN THE BODY:
Work smarter, not harder! Use gravity to provide the brain with more oxygen and blood, thus improving mental function, including concentration, memory and processing abilities.
2. INCREASE IMMUNITY AND PREVENT ILLNESS:
The lymphatic system is a key player in keeping the body healthy. As lymph moves through the body it picks up toxins and bacteria to be eliminated by the lymph nodes. Because lymph moves as a result of muscle contractions and gravity, getting upside-down allows lymph to more easily travel into the respiratory system, where many of the toxins enter the body.
Feeling that 3pm slump coming on? Get upside-down! Heating inversions such as Handstand, Headstand and Forearm Balance get more blood moving to the brain, which results not only in physical invigoration but mental revitalization as well.
While the heating inversions energize, inversions of the cooling type (Shoulder Stand and Legs Up the Wall) work to calm the nervous system, thereby activating the parasympathetic nervous system and producing feelings of balance and calm.
5. IMPROVE BALANCE:
Up the ante! Once you’ve mastered balancing on one or two legs, the obvious next step is finding equanimity on hands and head.
6. INCREASE CORE STRENGTH:
Of course inversions don’t just work your arms or legs — they’re total-body toners.
7. BUILD CONFIDENCE:
While that first kick up into Handstand might induce varying levels of trepidation, once we “get it,” things like that upcoming job interview suddenly don’t seem as daunting.
8. STAY HUMBLE:
And before we “get it,” those many attempts remind us of how much more we have to learn, and how truly it is about the journey, not simply the destination.
9. LITERALLY GIVE US A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE:
As we become accustomed to reacting to our world in a predictable way, inversions teach us through both physical example and metaphor that there is always another way to approach the situation/person/problem.
10. INVERSIONS ARE FUN:
Inversions reintroduce us to our inner child and remind us that though yoga is a contemplative endeavor in many ways, the asana practice is also a time to be playful and lighthearted!
Ready to experience the world through a different angle? Guess who is in the headstand at the Shala?