01 Jul Three Beginner Inversions to Get you Started
Inversions can often make those new to yoga a little nervous. The idea of getting upside down or having to figure out how to get in a handstand can be all too much. And we don’t disagree. Strength based inversions can be very challenging and daunting poses and can take an advanced practitioner years to feel comfortable in. But that doesn’t have to mean that those newer to the physical practice have to miss out on the benefits on getting inverted.
Getting upside down can have incredible benefits for the body and mind. One of the major benefits behind inversions is to stimulate the lymphatic system. When we stimulate the lymphatic system we are supporting our immune system. Which is a win for everyone. Plus when done in a more restorative way, inversions are very calming on the body and mind and can assist in better sleep and a clearer outlook. Here are three inversions that beginners can incorporate into their yoga practice at the studio or at home.
Viparita Karani is a great inversion that can be done anywhere using either a block or bolster for elevation or simply using the wall to keep you supported. Using a block, lying down on your mat, elevate your hips with a block or a bolster. You want this to be placed under the sacrum, which is the firmer flatter surface between the top of the glutes and the lower back. You should feel supported and stable and not need to use much effort to keep yourself on your prop. From there, lift the legs so your feet are above your hips, legs as straight as is comfortable. Essentially creating an L shape with the body. If you don’t have anything to support your hips for this shape you can simply use the wall to support your legs. Sit nice and close to the wall sideways and then swing your legs up the way so your feet are again above your hips. Knees can soften here as well.
Happy baby is great for those looking for more support again. Lying on your back hug your knees into your chest. From here, take hold of each foot on the outside edge. Then as you start to separate your knees nice and wide think about drawing your heels towards the sky while drawing your knees nice and wide and down towards your armpits. If this is too strong for the hips you can take hold of the backs of the thighs and take the exact same shape.
Rabbit is another inversion that keeps us very low to the ground. It’s not as simple as the other two mentioned here, but still accessible for those newer to yoga. In this shape you start on hands and knees in tabletop position. Your knees are hip distance apart. Then walk your hands back towards you so you can place the top of your head onto the ground and raise your hips up nice and high. You want your head nice and close towards your needs, chin tucked towards the chest. You then can reach back and take hold of your heels with your hands. Once you’re there, think about lifting through the hips and rounding through the back.
Give it a go! If you need any help, you’re always welcome to ask one of the teachers at the studio, call or email. We got your back!