5 Simple Inversions
I know, I know. You’re not a gymnast, right?
Well, fortunately there are a variety simple yoga inversions that don’t require you to balance on your head or knock out handstands.
These simpler inversions still get your heart above your head and allow you to reap the health benefits of the inversion. For example, inverting will help blood circulation and increase the flow of blood to the brain, this will provide more oxygen to the brain which can lead to the brain working faster and improved memory!
We all need better and faster brains, agreed!
Okay, time to peek at 5 simple yoga inversions that can improve your health!
Standing Forward Bend:
This pose is yet another example of an easy posture that provides ample benefits.
Most yogis see Standing Forward Bend as primarily a way to stretch the hamstrings, and for good reason. This posture does provide a great stretch for the hamstrings, but it’s also a mild inversion. The pose gets your heart above the head and therefore you get the same benefits as many other inversions.
Standing Forward Bend is an essential part of Sun Salutations and it would be nearly impossible to go through most yoga classes without finding yourself in this posture at some point.
Other benefits of this pose include reducing stress, helping insomnia, depression and maybe even calming a headache.
So, the next time you find yourself running through some Sun Salutations, keep in mind that it might be a good idea to hang out in a Standing Forward Bend for a little longer to reap some of its inversion benefits.
Downward Facing Dog:
It’s safe to say that you’ve probably heard of Downward Facing Dog Pose, it’s certainly one of the most well-known yoga poses on the planet!
What you may not realize is that Down Dog is considered a resting posture in yoga flow sequences, although most beginners would say the pose doesn’t feel like rest. You may also be unaware that this posture is also considered a forward fold or mild inversion.
Even as a mild inversion, the pose still offers many of the benefits that are commonly associated with more difficult inversions. Some of the benefits would include increased blood flow to the brain.
Other benefits of Downward Dog would include stretching and decompressing the spine, building strength, and stretching the hamstrings.
So, the next time you hit the mat, keep in mind that when you’re resting in Down Dog, you’re also practicing an easy inversion with big benefits to your health!
Shoulder Stand Pose:
Shoulder Stand Pose isn’t your typical yoga inversion!
Most inversions require that you invert or go upside down. We see this in many inversions like Headstand Pose or Dolphin Pose. However, Shoulder Stand Pose gives us the chance to get our heart above our head without getting upside down.
Just because this posture is a bit different from many other inversions, that doesn’t make it less effective. Shoulder Stand is also known as the “Mother” or “Queen” of all yoga poses. It’s labeled with this name because of all the amazing benefits, it’s truly a full body pose.
Like all inversions, this posture offers the wonder of blood flow reversal, and the addition of fresh blood and oxygen to the brain. It’s also believed that this pose acts as a stimulant to the parasympathetic nervous system.
Fortunately, this powerful yoga pose is usually accessible to most beginner students.
Get more details on Shoulder Stand Pose!
Wide Legged Forward Fold:
This pose is yet another relatively simple posture that packs a powerful punch of benefits. For most students, Wide Legged Forward Bend will be a bit more challenging than other folds such as Standing Forward Bend. The wider stance can be a little intimidating.
However, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter whether you reach the ground with your hands. You can get massive benefits from this pose without ever placing your hands on the earth. Like all inversions, the key is to get your heart above your head.
In addition to acting as a mild inversion, this posture is also great for stretching the hamstrings and lengthening and decompressing the spine. Learning to bend forward with a straight back can help prevent back injuries and strain that comes from rounding the back.
Other possible benefits of this pose include opening the hips, potentially improving digestion and reducing headaches and stress.
Keep in mind that if your hands don’t reach the ground, you can always use yoga blocks to bring the ground to you and stabilize the pose.
It’s easy to see why this pose is called “Plow”. While practicing this posture, your body really does resemble a plow!
Plow Pose is typically practiced near the end of a yoga class and many times it will follow Shoulder Stand Pose as it acts a perfect transition pose after Shoulder Stand. Plow may be considered as an intermediate pose by some students as it may prove challenging for some to attain the full posture. If you’re feet can’t reach the floor, a chair or wall can be used to support feet.
As a mild inversion, this pose does get the heart above the head and therefore offers numerous inversion benefits. Like all inversions, this pose will reverse blood flow and provide fresh blood and oxygen to the brain which can improve focus and memory.
Plow Pose will also stretch the shoulders and spine. This posture should be avoided if you suffer from a back or neck injury. Do not attempt the full version of the pose unless you have an experienced practice or help from an instructor.