Monday, 28 May 2012

Flipping for Inversions

Inversions are an important part of Iyengar Yoga.  It can also be the most challenging and scariest series of poses.  Shoulderstand, headstand and handstand are the classics.  I can do a respectable shoulderstand after four years of Iyengar Yoga but I still push my legs off the wall.  I can even take my feet down to a chair for the plough pose.  My handstand practice is a downward facing dog pose placing my feet on height.  My headstand is a variation on dolphin pose with my hands clasped, head nestled onto a folded blanket and between my clasped hands, and walking myself forward to support my back and hips against a wall.  Still complicated but I am a work in progress.  I think this is one series of poses where a good teacher is necessary.  It is very important to never strain your neck.  You need to take your time and learn the techniques carefully.

So, with all of these cautions and concentrated work, why are inversions important?  Simply, it is giving the body a chance to enjoy the reversed gravity.  Your organs are given more space.  Your heart has the chance to have the blood flow from the legs brought down without pumping so hard.  The good news is there are poses a beginner can achieve that can give some of the benefits of the classic inversions.  There are two poses I will discuss through this week so stay tuned.

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