Yoga is no longer just a meditation practice. It has transcended into the world of beauty, wellness, health, and fitness too, and evolved over time to suit various needs as it comes of age. While you have the very basic beginner level yoga asanas, the poses that seem to put the fear into people are the ones that require inversions, because holding up your entire body weight is no mean feat.
In fact, they require a certain level of fitness, and are best executed under the guidance of an instructor or with a spotter, until you’ve nailed the move and are confident you can hold your own and maintain your balance.
So why exactly are these high-risk, gravity-defying asanas so important? Practicing inversions is considered equivalent to dipping into a fountain of youth. Inversions done with elongated, slow breathing regularly can do wonders. Our internal organs are also affected by the passing of time and gravity. So, much like we use uplifting treatments to combat sagging skin, we should use inversions to help all our internal organs return to their original place.
To begin, you should consider trying the easier and more common Adho Mukha Svanasana, Or Downward Dog Pose. This asana is commonly seen in the surya namaskar sequence, but the pose can be done on its own as well. It heightens the circulation of blood and oxygen in your body. Here’s a step-by-step:
Step 1: Lie down on your stomach, keep your palms on the ground in line with your ears, legs together and straight out, with your toes pointing down and your heels facing up towards the ceiling.
Step 2: Lift your hips, gently lock your knees as you stand on your toes and slowly stretch your heels on to the floor, as you exhale. If your heels do not touch the floor, walk only your feet forward. Your body should resemble an upside down V.
Step 3: Push your palms into the floor firmly as you straighten out your spine, lengthening your tailbone. Keep your head between your upper arms; do not let it hang. Hold for 1-3 minutes and then exit pose by sitting down on your knees, finally resting in child’s pose.
For an in-depth understanding of inversion yoga poses that have been made easy for you to try at home, catch host Jai Sugrim and his Yoga Sutra Now series. Remember, even as time passes by, having an instructor can help you greatly as they teach you complicated variations and amp up the intensity of the asanas, all while helping you hold proper form and employing the right technique. These are very important when one is doing yoga, as you risk injury if you don’t adhere to the conditions.