Tips to Follow Before Doing Inversions
In terms of having fun doing yoga, inversions have to be some of the best positions. There’s nothing like standing on your own head to wind down after a stressful day.
Inversions are also good for detoxing and cleaning out the body. Your body is forced to work harder when it’s upside down, so doing inversions on a semi-regular basis is going to help you feel fresh.
But before you get started with inversions you should make sure you’re ready. As much fun as they are, inversions can potentially be frustrating or dangerous if you aren’t prepared. These tips will help you get the most out of your inversions and elevate your yoga practice.
Before anything, you want to make sure that you’re comfortable. A yoga mat or towel is necessary since you’ll likely be spending some time with your head on the ground.
You also need to make sure you’re wearing the right clothing. Loose-fitting clothes could end up sagging over the head, ruining your vision and making things more difficult. Clothes that slide around can also be a nuisance, and you’ll want your attention focused on the inversion.
Clothing can also get in the way of your inversions. If you need to plant a hand or foot and there’s fabric in the way it could prevent you from getting the full range of motion you need.
For your comfort and your safety, wear high-quality yoga clothes.
Overcome the Fear of Falling
Here’s the interesting thing about balance: the more worried you are about losing your balance, the more likely you are to actually lose your balance.
Before starting inversions, you need to get falling out of your mind. Sure, falling is a possibility, but if you focus on falling then you’re going to end up on the floor.
If you are going to fall, it’s important to keep the area around you safe. Make sure nothing is nearby that you could land on awkwardly. You might even want to consider placing extra blankets or yoga mats around for protection.
Balancing is easier when you’ve developed the right muscles – unfortunately, these are muscles that you probably won’t develop naturally.
Dolphin pose, crow pose and all types of push-ups are going to help you build up the strength you need to hold a better inversion. Core exercises are also highly recommended.
The great thing about building strength is that every little bit of extra strength you add is going to help with your inversions. There’s no need to hit the weight room or create a rigorous strengthening routine – just a little bit here and there is going to help.
Practice with Beginner Poses
Crow pose isn’t just a great way to build strength – it’s an entry into more difficult inversions.
There are plenty of beginner poses that you should warm up with before going on to more advanced inversions. Did you know that downward facing dog is actually a type of inversion? You don’t need to do handstands to get the benefits of an inversion (but they’re much more fun).
Starting with beginner poses is a smart idea, particularly for those that have back problems. There’s no telling how your body will respond to an inversion until you try them, so starting slow is ideal.
Start Doing Headstands and Handstands
Once you’ve worked up the strength, comfort and courage, it’s time to start doing headstands and handstands!
There are tons of different headstands and handstands to choose from, but the tripod headstand is an excellent starting point. Find a wall to work against and place your mat so you’ll be a foot or so from the wall. Get into your tripod pose and use the wall as support so you don’t fall on your back.
The more poses you do, the better you’ll get. As you keep practicing your inversions, you’re bound to find a pose that speaks to you.