Turn your yoga upside down with inversion yoga poses. Any yoga pose that has you putting your head below your heart is considered an inversion pose. These types of poses are really good at building core strength and relieving tightness in the body.
This style of yoga has also been known to reduce back pain and improve how well you breathe. What sets inversions apart from the others is the use of gravity to energize the body and the mind.
Inversions provide more oxygen and blood to the brain resulting in improved concentration and memory. They also flush your organs with fresh blood and activate many glands.
Shoulder Stand Pose
The Shoulder Stand will flush out your legs and allow fresh blood to to circulate through the head and upper body. This pose also strengthens the upper back, shoulders and improves the flexibility of your spine.
You can actually start this exercise from the plow pose.
Once you are in the plow pose and have your hands supporting your back, lift your legs off of the floor toward the ceiling either together or one at a time.
Keep your head steady and try to lift up through the balls of your feet. Bring your hips slightly forward and your legs slightly back to keep yourself straight.
After 30-45 seconds return to the plow pose and then roll out from there.
Taylor Demonstrating the Shoulder Stand Pose
If you are new to shoulder stands, you can start out by practicing a half inverted version by lifting the legs to a 45 degree angle. This will pull your pelvis away from your shoulders, lessening the stress on your shoulders and neck.
This is a great inversion pose for after you wake up in the morning. The pose promotes flexibility of the spine and stretches the muscles and joints in your legs resulting in better mobility in your hips and legs. Inversion poses like the plow can improve, digestion, oxygen flow and lower blood pressure.
Lie on your back with your feet extended straight out and your hands at your sides.
Press down on the floor with your hands and use your ab muscles to lift your hips off of the floor. Have your legs follow your hips and bring them over your head until the toes touch the floor behind your head.
Keep your back in a straight line and move your hands under your back and near your shoulder blades (as pictured). Try and relax your shoulders and neck muscles and hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.
Return to your starting position by bringing your legs back down to the mat one at a time.
Taylor Demonstrating the Plow Pose
If you are new to the plow pause, you can use a chair as a prop to relieve stress of the back and neck. Set a chair behind your head and rest your feet on the chair and not the floor.
Downward dog is one of the most popular inversion poses, it is also considered a restorative pose that you typically go into after doing a more vigorous yoga pose.
Starting on your hands and knees, slowly lift your knees and straighten your legs (as pictured).
Make sure that you press your heels flat into the ground and you feel the pressure in your hamstrings and calves.
Hold this pose for one minute and return to your starting position.
Taylor Demonstrating the Downward Facing Dog Pose
Keep your back straight, engage your abs and hinge forward at your waist as transition into your forward bend.
Push your palms into the floor with your fingers pointing forward and spread out all the way. If you can't reach your palms all the way to the floor, put them on blocks so you can press into the floor.
Legs on wall is a passive yoga pose that can relax and rejuvenate the entire body, it also provides different anti-aging benefits. It can help with many different illness and disease issues like arthritis, respiratory problems, and menopause.
Start out by sitting next to a wall with your feet in front of you and your side touching the wall. Lie down on your back and turn yourself so that the back of your legs are against the wall and straight up in the air.
Wiggle around so that your butt is either pressed against the wall or very close. This will have your body in a 90-degree angle and your and you head and back resting flat on the floor.
Place your hands on your belly or palms down on the floor on either side, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Stay in this pose for about five minutes and then slowly roll to one side to end the pose.
Benefits of Inversion Poses
Heart Health: By turning yourself upside down, the fluid in the lower part of your body drains better to your veins. Blood flow to the heart increases quickly to improve your circulation which assists in helping the body to eliminate unwanted waste products. Doing inversion poses on a regular basis can lower your resting heart rate.
Instant Energy: Inversion yoga poses like the headstand pumps more blood into the brain which increase your physical energy level and mental sharpness.
Core Strength: Maintaining steady balance with inversion poses results from the stability of strong core muscles. Strength from these muscles that support the lower back and spine can also lessen back pain and help correct bad posture.
Concentration and Focus: Inversion yoga poses demand your complete attention. These poses teach you to remain composed with a clear mind and a focus on your task. To master a number of these full balance poses is to also master your mind.
Breathing Capacity. These poses will help to strengthen your diaphragm and expand your chest wall. Expanding the chest will increase the capacity of your lungs to take in more oxygen. Taking in more oxygen will improve your blood circulation and improve the function of your brain and other organs.
Lower Back Support. The inversion can take pressure off spine disks and strengthen the muscles supporting the lower back. This can help to relieve the consistent lower back pain that so many of deal with.
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