Inversions are one of the most popular and rewarding poses in yoga and are a great way to challenge your body and expand your practice. But they can also be intimidating for beginners.
If you’ve been wanting to try your first inversion but don’t quite know where to start, this blog post is for you. Let’s break down everything you need to know about doing your first yoga inversion!
What is a Yoga Inversion?
A yoga inversion is simply any pose that places your head below your heart & hips. In effect, any yoga asana in which your heart is higher from the ground than your head is an inversion, as your body is “inverted” from its normal upright nature.
This could be anything from a Shirshasana (headstand) or Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), to an arm balance like Bakasana (crow pose) or even a simple Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward facing dog.
Whatever inversion you choose, it will involve strength, balance, and flexibility—which makes it the perfect challenge for any yogi looking to take their practice up a notch.
Benefits of Doing Inversions
Inversions offer a variety of physical benefits, such as increased circulation, improved digestion, and stronger muscles. They also provide mental benefits such as reducing stress and improving concentration. Plus, there’s something incredibly empowering about being able to hold yourself up against gravity and trust that you have the strength and stability necessary to stay inverted.
Preparing for Your First Inversion
The key to getting into any yoga pose is preparation; this is all the more important when it comes to inversions.
Make sure that you warm up adequately beforehand with some surya namaskars or gentle stretching exercises. You should never attempt an inversion without proper warming up as this can lead to injury.
It's also important that you are mindful of your body's limitations—listen carefully and move slowly so that you don't push yourself too hard or too fast into this new experience.
It's best to practice with a teacher or someone experienced who can offer advice on proper alignment and how best to approach the inversion of your choice safely.
Additionally, make sure that the space where you are practicing is safe—an uneven surface can make balancing more difficult so find somewhere flat with plenty of room around you (and preferably no obstacles!). Using a yoga towel, or a well cushioned yoga mat can help provide comfort and stability.
Inverting may seem intimidating at first, but if done safely and correctly it can be one of the most rewarding poses available in yoga practice. So take some time today—or tomorrow—to do some research on different types of inversions and decide which one feels right for you and get started on your journey!
Remember to stay patient and with the right preparation and guidance, soon enough you'll be flipping upside down with ease!