The Inverted Asanas

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    Going upside down during your Yoga practice can be fun yet challenging, but if you master the poses they have major health benefits.

    Inverted Yoga poses that position the heart higher than the head have been credited with getting rid of back pain, improving breathing and strengthening the core

    Certain poses or ‘asanas’ can even have age defying effects. Not that beauty benefits should be the reason for your practice but it’s certainly a nice motivation!

    Inversions poses such as shoulderstands, headstands and handstands can give a natural facelift as when you are upside down you’re really reversing the powers of gravity on your body ,even if its just for awhile!

    Inversions also do the following:-

    -Enhance relaxation and promote better sleep
    -Promote lymphatic drainage and blood purification
    -Improve digestion and blood purification
    -Elevate the mood and alleviate depression
    -Releive back pain with better posture and greater spinal mobility

    The practice of inversions is for intermediate and advanced students and should be done under a certified Yoga instructor. It’s important to perform inversions correctly as doing them improperly can result in injury.

    Before going onto advanced postures one can begin with semi inversions like:-
    -Downward Facing Dog [Adho Mukha Svanasana]
    -Forward Fold [Uttanasana]
    -Bridge [Setu Bandha Sarvangasana]

    Once you are confident more advanced inversions can be practiced like:-
    -Plough [Halasana]
    -Shoulder Stand [Sarvangasana]
    -Headstand [Sirasana]
    -Handstand [Adho Mukha Vrksasana]

    If the above poses seem daunting ,try simply putting your feet above your head for a few minutes everyday.Relax against a wall or a sofa with your feet in air and focus on your breathing. Spend atleast 5 minutes upside down in whatever form is best for you. Breathe deeply as deep breathing detoxifies your skin from inside.

    If you have any of the following speak with your doctor before attempting inversions:-

    -Glaucoma or detached retinas
    -Vertigo
    -Severe structural asymmetries
    -Previous spinal injuries
    -High Blood Pressure
    -Recent Facial Surgery

    So I end this with a song in my head by Coldplay “Rush of Blood To The Head,” and a smile on my face!

    Namaste!

    Neelanjana Bharadwaj – Yoga Expert