Going upside-down can be a little intimidating feeling, or seem like an unnatural thing to do, however it’s something we do more often than we think!
Being inverted is as easy as having your feet above your head, or your heart below your hip. More often than not, when I ask people how they
watched TV as a kid they respond with “upside down”, more specifically in shoulder-stand/ plow pose.
Why is this? Because being upside down helps us focus, and kid’s can use all the focus they can get! The range of motion in our neck is limited in this positions thus forcing us to “focus”. We are in a position that is unnatural to us and we need to quiet the mind and be in the moment… trying to figure out how to use our hands like feet! With all this extra focus we are also able to find calmness, find simple joy, and find peace.
By putting our feet up we send extra blood to the brain, thus bringing more oxygen to the brain. What does more oxygen do? It does not make you an air head, in fact it helps the brain function more efficiently and helps the brain heal from injuries faster. It also helps us gain new perspectives on life. Seeing things from a new angle or even having to be in a challenging spot can make us realize how things are not what they seem to be, or not as serious as we want to perceive them to be.
Since we are super relaxed when inverted our muscles are able to let go and the lymphatic flow is increased. This helps us flush out toxins from the body faster. By clearing the body of toxins and having a strong lymphatic system we are able to recover from workouts that leave our body sore and achey. With functioning lymphs we can recover faster and with extra white blood cells pumping through our immune strength is boosted. Not too bad of a deal for putting your feet up!
The pressure of blood flow is altered since the veins that usually have a downward flow are now working to push pressure upward. Some inversions are known to lower blood pressure like legs up the wall, bridge pose, down dog or standing forward fold. These poses, when practiced restoratively, can put anyone to sleep!
With our feet above our heads we are giving our super strong feet a lovely break. By taking the pressure off we reduce fatigue, and swelling in the legs. This is perfect for anyone who stands all day, is constantly on their feet or may have varicose veins. and not only to our feet become relaxed, but being upside down is a natural facelift! Everything from ankle swelling to face wrinkles gets a little lift, encouraging gravity’s magical powers to work for you.
Inversions are fun, and beneficial to the body, but they should be practiced with caution. Injuries in the neck, spine, & shoulders should be respected. Like any pose, it’s a practice and working to build to a pose or advanced variation is sweeter on the body. Be sure to read about an inversion you will want to try to ensure your best outcome 🙂
By Nadia Pinna