March 29, 2012


I saved the best for last from Yoga Chuck's Physical Routine series, inversions. Inversions in Yoga means the hips and or legs are above the heart. Inversions are one of my favorite poses. In this post I'll cover the inversions I do and some of there benefits.

One pose I do is Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana). When I do this pose my elbows are bent with forearms on the floor fingers interlaced and the weight supported on the forearms and hands. 95% of my body's weight is on the forearms and hands to protect the head and neck. I hold Salamba Sirsasana about five minutes each day, six days a week. I can feel the body doing a lot of work holding myself inverted. I feel the shoulders, arms, chest, belly, back, gluts and legs all working to hold the body upright and my bodies temperature definitely heats up.

I also do handstands (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) at the wall holding this pose for about 40 seconds. I mainly do the handstand to help build strength in the back, shoulders and arms. My goal is to get my feet away from the wall and balance on the hands. I've never been able to successfully balance on the hands for long, without the wall, but I keep working at it. A trick to help balance is to have the knees bent ninety degrees with the toes touching the wall and then gently push off the wall.

A tough inversion I do is Feathered Peacock pose (Pincha Mayurasana). My palms and forearms are on the floor with the forearms parallel to each other shoulder width apart. The upper arms are perpendicular to the floor or at lest I try. I do this pose unsupported holding it about 40 seconds three days a week.

I will also do headstands when transitioning into different poses sometimes holding as long as 20 seconds.

Another inversion I do is when I'm doing Savasana is called Legs-Up-the-Wall pose (Viparita Karani). I'll lye on my back with my hips on blankets to get the hips above the heart and the legs straight up the wall with the butt and back of the legs against the wall. This is great for the immune system and it feels so good I don't want to come out.

The reason I do inversions is for the benefits I get from them. They energize, calm, elevate mood, helps me feel my core energy and brings balance to my body. There are many more benefits that I'll cover in a future posts.

I'm now going to mention some of the health issues related to doing inversion. Do not do inversions if you have neck or shoulder problems, cervical spurs, disk injury, and spinal injury. Also if you have eye problems like glaucoma, displaced retina, conjunctivitis do not do inversions. Other reasons not to do inversions are if you have congestive heart failure or other heart problems, circulatory problems, swollen joints, osteoporosis, pregnancy, obesity, high or low blood pressure, carotid artery stenosis, stroke, nausea, ringing in ears, ear infection, hernia, headaches. If you have Multiple Sclerosis you may not want to do inversions. I was at a  meeting and the Dr. who was the speaker told me inversions slows the blood flow from leaving the brain possibly forcing blood past the blood brain barrier. This makes common sense but for me I feel great in and after coming out of inversions and have never had an issue since starting inversions in 2006.

There are several if not many more types of inversions that I'm not covering today since I do not do them on a regular basis. In the future I'll do a series on inversions demoing how to get in and out safely and the different types, also I'll do a breakdown of all the above poses. But for now do not do inversions unless your supervised by a trained teacher.

Healthy & Happy,
Yoga Chuck



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