Being upside down is a strange sensation; after all, we spend the majority of our life up the ‘right’ way. A lot of people become anxious when approaching an inversion as it is not what they are used to, however it is worth delving into the unknown in this case, as standing on your head can help both your body and your mind. After getting to know the facts, the way we stand all day might not seem like the right way after all.
An inversion is a pose in which you hold your heart higher than your head, for example in Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) or Halasana (plow pose). These poses help your body to recover from the overwhelming compression of gravity, as well as the tension held from everyday activities. An inversion is advantageous for the cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine and nervous systems- basically it’s good for your whole body.
In terms of the cardiovascular system, turning yourself upside down increases the flow of fresh blood to the heart, improving your circulation in a way that aerobic exercise does. Inversions are also said to improve lung tissue quality.
On top of this, we all owe inversions a chance as they improve back pain, which I am sure every single one of us will suffer from at some point, whether it be after sitting at a desk for hours on end, or from other forms of exercise. The spinal cord is the most important part of the body, and by inverting we improve our posture, making the way we sit and stand less stressful on the back.
Inverted poses are also beneficial to the bones. They help to strengthen the ligaments that surround the bones, therefore making them less likely to break.
Inversions are the yogic approach to controlling indigestion, which can cause anxiety and skin disorders, as well as being very uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable, inversions can also help to counteract premenstrual symptoms. When blood circulation is improved, the hormones become balanced to make a person feel light hearted and happier than usual.
For anyone who suffers from sleeping problems, these magical inversions can help with that too. When the mind is at peace and blood is flowing healthily, a person will sleep better. When you are inverted, muscle tension decreases, therefore relaxing the body, making it easier to sleep.
Crazily, inversions are also said to stop people from shrinking, as they grow older. There we go everyone, we don’t have to be tiny, frail and hunched when we get older, and all we have to do to stop it is stand on our head for a few minutes a day!
With the amount of benefits that inversions hold, it’s a wonder we don’t all walk around on our hands rather than our feet all day. Not many people have time for that though, so we can just start with a few minutes hanging out upside down a day to improve our health out of sight.