Yoga Inversions can be a hot topic for a new yogi. Although headstand and handstand may immediately come to mind when you think about inversion, you might be surprised to learn that child’s pose, downward-facing dog, ragdoll, and even bridge pose are also considered inversions. You are doing an inversion anytime your head is below your heart. Inversions are a critical element of any yoga practice. And here’s why:

Learn 10 Benefits of Yoga Inversions

1. Inversions Improve your Circulatory System

Gravity keeps us grounded and damages our systems. Water makes up 60% of your body, and gravity pulls tissues and water downward. The heart has to work harder to return oxygen to the head, and being upside-down reverses blood flow, and the result is that the heart doesn’t work as hard. According to David Coulter, Ph.D., professor at the University of Minnesota who wrote in a 1992 Yoga International article on Headstands and the Circulatory System: “If you can remain in an inverted posture for just 3 to 5 minutes, the blood will not only drain quickly to the heart, but tissue fluids will flow more efficiently into the veins and lymph channels of the lower extremities and of the abdominal and pelvic organs, facilitating a healthier exchange of nutrients and wastes between cells and capillaries.”

2. Being upside-down improves Immune System Functioning and Increases Lymphatic Drainage

The lymphatic system plays a significant role in the correct functioning of the immune system. Unlike the cardiovascular system that relies on the heart to pump, the lymphatic system depends on movement, gravity, and breath to move our lymph. When we go upside-down, we drain the lymph to our thoracic duct, which is the main detention center of the lymphatic system.

crow pose modern yoga

3. Boost your Confidence

No one can estimate how much personal happiness and sense of accomplishment you feel after holding a handstand for the first time. The rush of achieving something you did not think possible energizes you and builds your confidence.

4. Inversions Increase Your Body Awareness

We don’t generally go upside down. When you do inversions, you add a dimension to your body’s movement. Properception is the awareness of the body, its position in space, and its movement. Receptors send information about the environment to the Central-Nervous-System, which sends feedback. Maintaining an inversion will increase your ability to cognize your body and movement in space. “The moment I started practicing inversions regularly, I began paying more attention to my body. I learned that I was stronger than I thought but not as flexible as I wanted. Every time I was upside down, I slowly improved my awareness every time I was upside-down. Balancing in inversions taught me to sense my body differently,” said James, Modern Yoga co-owner. 

inversion class modern yoga

5. Strengthen Your Core to Improve your Overall Posture

Prolonged seated positions fatigue the muscles that stabilize the spine to the point that they no longer provide stability. The spine begins to rely on the passive structures of the musculoskeletal system for support, and you start slouching. Inversions improve stability and motor control of your core muscle, helping you strengthen those stabilizers and recover a healthier posture for your spine. 

6. Lengthen Your Attention Spam

 When you balance your body while upside-down, you also lengthen and strengthen your attention span. Balancing and focussing are like two fishes in a school; when one moves, the other follows. 

7. Regulate Your Metabolism

The medical community has widely recognized the positive effects of inversions on the complex endocrine system. “Shoulder stand is widely recommended for menopausal and perimenopausal women because it stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which secrete hormones that regulate one’s metabolism.” Larry Payne, an internationally respected Yoga teacher, says that by inverting, you give these glands, located in the upper chest, a “bath of blood,” increasing their efficiency. Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

8. Be Present And Practice Detachment with Inversions

Inversions are tough to master and humble us all the time. You have to let your ego go and detach from the final results because even if you manage to hold your handstand for a few seconds today, you might not get it tomorrow.  You start doing yoga inversions, not mare inversions, when you start being present in the moment, gaining wisdom from the learning process, instead of getting frustrated with your “failures.” 

Modern Yoga

9. Gain a New Perspective 

“flipping myself upside down provides me with a new physical perspective that translates off my mat and makes me see things new in everyday life,” says Joyce from Modern Yoga. We tend to tackle our problems always the same way, even when our solutions don’t bring us the best results. Change view with a headstand and see what you can do differently!

10 – Have FUN 

Last but not least benefit of practicing inversions is to have fun.  Being upside down is fun: you fall, laugh, and challenge yourself as a kid does. You can turn it into a playful activity and gain all its benefits, even by just having fun and leaving your day-to-day worries out of the mat.  Take every precautious so that you can avoid injuries. Yoko Yoshikawa teaches Iyengar-based yoga in Oakland, California, and stresses his students to “realize that intention and focus are more important than throwing the self into poses. Practiced without wisdom and compassion, inversions can lead to injury. But at their best, these poses sing up the spine, and the body hums with joy. Headstand and Shoulder stand are known as the king and queen of the asanas—and they can be rather cavalier with their subjects’ necks. Be smart but undaunted: They grant great boons to those who approach with respect.”   At Modern yoga, we strive to create a safe environment where every student feels entitled to ask questions. We love to take you seriously, and we are here to realize yoga is more than just exercise but a way of life.

Yoga Inversion And Arm Balance Workshop

Saturday 2/26/22. From 2pm-4pm. Take your practice upside down in this fun workshop about yoga inversion. All levels are welcome, you’ll only need an open mind and a playful spirit.