YOLY Challenge #13: Go Upside Down


This is a challenge to turn your world upside down – every day this week!

In yoga, it is important to include inversions to obtain the full range of benefits that the yogic system has to offer.

The advantages of inverting include:

  • Increased blood flow to the head  – for improved brain function and vitality
  • Regulation of sleep patterns
  • Enhanced digestion and circulatory systems
  • Strengthened respiratory system and immune function

-basically a complete panacea for the body.

And, there is no need to fear.  You can start slowly with a good selection of postures.  If you are currently practicing shoulderstand or even headstand or handstand – wonderful! Select a pose to do each day this week and see how you feel.

If you are not quite sure about shoulderstand and can’t even imagine standing on your hands let alone your head, that’s no problem.

Just follow my guidelines for your week of inverting. Begin with pose #1 and proceed as you deem comfortable.  Remember the most important thing is to get your head down.

  1. Uttanasana (Full Forward Bend)  – do this in its traditional form or use a chair to support your head.
  2. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Angle Forward Bend) – the wide leg version of #1
  3. Sasakasana (Rabbit Pose) – Begin with Balasana (Child’s Pose) and slowly lift your hips to roll onto the crown of your head.  Use your hands to help take some of the pressure off your head.
  4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) – try lifting one leg at a time here.
  5. Ardha Sarvangasana (Half Shoulderstand) – Using a chair or a wall, begin in Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) and place your feet on the chair seat or wall to lift your lower body above your head.
  6. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) – Begin with #5 and slowly extend first one leg then the other to lengthen into the full posture.
  7. Ardha Sirsasana (Half Headstand) – Come into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) with your forearms resting on the floor.  Slowly walk your feet in toward your head keeping your head lifted off the floor.

Be cautious if you have issues with blood pressure.

If you are unfamiliar or inexperienced with inversions, please consult with a yoga instructor before trying poses #5 through #7.



6 thoughts on “YOLY Challenge #13: Go Upside Down

  1. Barbara Cummings

    I love when this happens ~ Last week I took a Yoga for Your Life class and our teacher spent considerable time on inversions touting all the benefits you listed. It’s Monday and no classes scheduled so now I have an inversion practice for the week. Thank you!

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