Yoga inversions are not only fun to do but they have tons of health benefits!!
1) Circulation: Did you know that inversions reverse the flow of blood in the body and ultimately helps improve your circulation? Proper circulation is needed for heart health, immune system, and overall function of your organs.
2) Brain Function: By turning your body upside down for 30 seconds to 2 minutes you are giving your brain a nice little boost. This is because our brain gets more blood and oxygen this way, which enhances mental function, improves concentration, and promotes memory.
3) Releases Stress: We tend to hold most of our stress in our neck and shoulders. By inverting we are releasing lactic acid build up and relaxing our neck/shoulder muscles and joints away from our head and ears.
4) Improves Your Balance: For most of us it is very easy to stand on our own two feet for long periods of time… but why can’t we stand on our own two hands? Headstands are a nice Segway to handstands and forearm-stands without as much stress and strain on the body, but with equal the health benefits. Once a normal headstand or handstand becomes easy start playing with leg positioning till you find a challenge!
5) Works the Core: As you can tell… inversions require you to tighten your core in order not to flop forward or backward. Holding this pose (or asana) tightens every core muscle and holds it in a constant contraction for the entire duration of the pose. In fact, you can’t even lift your self up into the pose without using your core to the max.
6) Improves Posture: After sitting at a desk all day this is exactly what your body is craving. These poses elongate your spine and help to correct your alignment.
7) Just Breathe: It teaches you patience by forcing you to slow down your breathing.
8) Focus: It engages your concentration by forcing you to focus on one thing.. being in the
moment! If your gaze (or drishti) becomes distracted and your eyes unlock from your focal point, you will increase your chances of wobbling over and falling.
9) Digestion: Sometimes our bodies become stuck and stagnant. Inversions actually help move digestion and stuck food particles that would otherwise remain locked for long periods of time.
10) Promotes Confidence: The first, second, or maybe even third time you attempt an inversion it is very scary. The thought of face-planting or falling over on someone else is just too much to bare. So you hold back and never quite get up-right. After a few deep breaths and the spot of another person or maybe even a wall, you find yourself inverted. AHHH now what? Now is the time to pat yourself on the back ( NOT literally), take some deep breaths, and enjoy the yoga high. Next time you try an inversion to will feel much more confident and able and you might even carry your new tenacity to other aspects of your life!