Inversions are an essential part of a yoga practice. And although this milestone might not be for all practitioners learning to be comfortable, strong and confident upside down can take your yoga practice to a new level. Yoga itself helps us to face our fears, test our edge and move forward as a warrior staying steady and strong amidst life’s fears and challenges. Through steady practice and repetition we can find the alignment of Tadasana (mountain pose) in Sirsasana.
The benefits of going upside down range from:
Helps relieve stress
Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands
Strengthens the arms, legs, spine and core
calming to the nervous system
can add in relieving mild depression
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis
Come onto your hands and knees and place your forearms on the floor and lace your fingers together elbows at shoulder width. The inner wrist should be stacked on top of the outer wrist and palms pressing together. This will create a strong foundation and strength needed in forearms to go up. Set the crown of your head on the floor snuggling the back of your head against the clasped hands. The placement of the head should maintain the natural curve of neck so playing with this placement or asking a teacher for guideance is helpful to find correct alignment
inhale and lift your knees off the floor. Carefully walk your feet closer to your elbows,lifting your hips high Firm the shoulder blades against your back and lift them toward the tailbone, if you can not maintain this lift in your shoulders as you walk your feet in then you are not ready to come up and should practice this regularly to build the strength needed to eventually come up. Bend one knee into your chest continue to pull that knee in towards your chest to activate your core and lift the other knee up as well. From there reach through your heels to straighten your legs stacking your heels in line with your hips and your hips in line with your shoulders. Again think about your alignment in Tadasana and all the same principals apply here. Slowly come down the the same way you came up with control and rest in child’s pose for at least 5 breaths
As a beginning practitioner stay for only a few breaths. Gradually add 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay every day.