Seeing the phrase “yoga inversions” may conjure mental images of impossible gravity-defying poses. In reality, an inversion is any pose that puts your head below your heart. That doesn’t sound nearly as scary, does it?
These poses can fit into anyone’s practice: Even beginners can do inversions easily and safely. Check out some of the benefits of adding inversions to your daily yoga practice.
Boost Your Immunity
The lymphatic system plays a huge role in keeping our body healthy. Going upside down can help lymph fluid move through the body, picking up toxins and bacteria to be destroyed by your body. To get started boosting your immune system, try warming up and going into a gentle inversion like putting your legs up a wall.
- Get into this pose by lying down, turning to one side and moving towards the wall so your bottom is flat against the wall. Slowly roll onto your back, swinging your legs over and up so they lie flat up the wall. Stay in this pose as long as is comfortable for you. Five to 15 minutes are recommended.
Improve Your Digestion
Flipping upside down reverses the pull of gravity on your body, digestive organs included. The change in pressure can help release any gas trapped in the digestive system and may help move out old waste. Did you know that “Downward Facing Dog” is actually an inversion? If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you may wants to skip “downward facing dog.” Otherwise, you can go into this pose after warming up.
- Start on hands and knees on your mat, knees below your hips and hands slightly forward of the shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and tuck your toes under. After exhaling, lift your knees from the floor, pushing up and back while lengthening the spine. Stretch your heels towards the floor, straightening your knees but not locking them. Stay in this pose for one to three minutes.
Relieve Fluid Buildup in Legs
If you struggle with fluid retention, getting your legs in the air for a few minutes can be a great way to remedy this. A supported shoulder stand is a great way to get your feet off the ground and help your body deal with that fluid retention.
- Begin by placing firm, folded blankets on the mat to support your shoulders, lie on the blankets with your head on the floor. Lay your arms on the floor beside your torso with palms down. Bend your knees and bring your feet to rest close to the sitting bones. Exhale while pressing your arms into the floor, pushing your feet away from the floor and drawing thighs into the torso.
- Bring your knees towards your face, bending your elbows and drawing them towards each other while bringing your hands to rest on your back. Walk your hands up your back and lift your knees towards the ceiling, straightening legs as you go. Hold pose for 30 seconds.