Inversions not only look incredible, they make you feel incredible too. There are numerous health benefits associated with turning your world upside down for a few minutes each day. The change of perception oxygenates and floods blood to the brain and joints that are usually deficient. Depending on the pose, pressure is reduced from the neck and back as natural spinal alignment is restored and compression is released.
Neck and back pain effect over 85% of the population. Inversions decompress vertebrae that are affected by the daily weight of gravity. This process allows herniated disc to slide back into their proper alignment, relieving pain. The decompression benefits also increase back flexibility and strengthen the spine. Inversions are not only a natural therapy effective for pain management, the increased blood flow boosts the immune system, controls indigestion, relieves insomnia, and is a great form of stress therapy. The benefits are not only internal, as inversions strengthen the core and have cosmetic effects. The increased blood flow nourishes the skin, decreases acne, and it is even proven to help with hair growth!
If the health benefits are not enough, performing these poses is inspiring. It takes poise, balance, strength, and discipline to be able to maintain stability on the hands, shoulders, or head. Poses can seem intimidating, but like all yoga asanas, there are variations to fit all levels of practice. With practice and patience come results.
(Yoga Junkie Studio frequently offers Inversion & Arm Balance Workshops where instructor Julee Cristie teaches basic progression poses to full on inversions. Join us in class or in a future workshop to learn how to safely position your body to prepare a strong base for headstands, handstands, shoulder stands, and more. )