What is an #inversionaday? And why should I care?
We have had a lot of questions about the #inversionaday challenge.
What is an inversion?
What are the benefits?
Can I do it?
What is an inversion?
An inversion is technically any posture that head below the hips. (Or the heart higher than the head, if that makes more sense for you.) Inversions range from downward dog, uttanasana (standing forward fold), legs up the wall, even mild variations of bridge pose can “technically” be classified as an inversion. Of course, there are also those “cool” inversion poses you first think of–handstand, headstand, etc.
Why are inversions important?
“Whether it is downward dog or handstand, we can benefit by going upside down,” Eric Wheeler says.
Inversions reduce stress, strengthen the body, improve concentration, challenge the mind, can be grounding or energetic, and benefit basically every system of the body (cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems.)
In Light on Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar gives the following benefits to sarvangasana (shoulderstand), “The importance of sarvangasana cannot be over-emphasized. It is one of the greatest boons conferred on humanity by our ancient sages, sarvangasana is the Mother of asanas [poses]. As a mother strives for harmony and happiness in the home, so this asana strives for the harmony and happiness of the human system. It is a panacea for most common ailments. “
Iyengar goes on to explain how shoulder stand helps the glands (including thyroid) to function properly, improves circulation, relieves asthma/bronchitis and other respiratory issues, reduces chronic pain, “eradicates the common cold,” relieves insomnia, improves digestion, and even “helps to relieve epilepsy, low vitality, and anemia.” Iyengar concludes by saying “It is no over-statement to say that if a person regularly practices sarvangasna he will feel new vigor and strength, and will be happy and confident. New life will flow into him, his mind will be at peace and he will fell the joy of life.” How cool is that? And that is just the benefits of one single inversion. Just think of the benefits when you do MULTIPLE inversions! Woah. Is your mind blown yet??
Eric says, “Inversions are very powerful postures that strengthen our body and harness the mind. Every class should contain some form of inversions.” Eric elaborates, explaining that “inversions keep you young. Physically, they bring blood to your face and head, mentally they allow you to be brave and go on an adventure.” Going upside down can be scary for many people. Inversions help you address that fear, embrace it, and see what lives on the other side of fear.
Why do I need to take a class about inversions?
Inversions can be tricky and harmful if not done with proper alignment. Eric Wheeler elaborates, explaining “some inversions and arm balances require quite a bit of preparation. When you prepare the key action for the postures you have a better chance or success.” And success = happiness. When you get upside down in handstand for the first time at the wall, I promise you, it is an exhilarating feeling!!
What inversion do you practice?
There are so many options, but Eric practices “headstands and shoulderstands every morning. I believe that when we go upside down we burn off negative energy we collect in the body. My mom used to say that I spend as much time on my hands as I did my feet when I was a kid.”
I wish I could say I spend as much time on my hands as my feet! Good reason to have an #inversionaday challenge, no? More time upside down, the happier I will be. The happier YOU will be.
Have you made sure to enter to win the #YogaVibes grand prize year membership with the #inversionaday challenge? Go do that, right now! Check it out!
Tampa Bay Yogis, check out the Independence Day Inversion Class:
What: Go upside down this July 4th. The freedom of balancing on your head, hands and arms can change your perspective, increase your circulation, calm the mind, reduce stress, strengthen your core, increase oxygen to your brain, and give you a natural high. Learning inversions is fun and there is a natural fear instinct that, when overcome in a safe way, will spice up your practice. We”ll explore postures like sirsasana (headstand), bakasana (crow), and galavasana (one legged crow), and adho mukha vrksasana (handstand). Join Eric in this yearly class that focuses on balance, strength and concentration.
So, do Eric and I have you hooked on inversions yet? See you on your mat for the #inversionaday challenge! Tampa Bay yogis, put Eric’s Independence Day Inversion Class on your calendar, too!