It's Good to Flip Yourself Upside Down

Benefits of Inverted Postures

What are your favorite ways to get upside down? From the old fashioned "put your feet up at the end of the work day", to break dancing moves, to sirsasana and salamba sarvangasana, there are many ways to get inverted!

The main word of warning against inversions are that they should not hurt your neck.  As long as you are true to that rule, you should benefit greatly from getting upside down.

As those of you know who know me, I will always remind you that yoga poses and breathing do more than strengthen and stretch the muscles of the body. Yoga postures and breathing effect the inner workings of the body - the internal systems upon which health is built and maintained. Especially those of us who are aging (and that's all of us, right?!), or who have dealt with health issues will be aware that strong and flexible muscles are only the tip of the iceberg as far as health is concerned. I ALWAYS have more to say on this subject, but for now I will leave it at that, and list below some of the benefits of inversions:

  • Decreased pain from eye illness
  • Improves brain function
  • Increases blood supply to the pituitary and pineal glands (headstand)
  • Balances hormone secretion 
  • Reduces low grade anxiety and depression
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves respiration and diseases of the lungs
  • Improves constipation 
  • Strengthens muscles of the spine 
  • Stretches upper back and shoulders

"It is no over-statement to say that if a person regularly practices sarvangasana(shoulder stand) he or she will feel new vigor and strength, and will be happy and confident. New life will flow into the body, the mind will be at peace, and life will feel joyful. After a long illness the practice of this asana(posture) regularly twice a day brings back lost vitality.' - B.K.S. Iyengar (R.I.P.)