An inversion is the description for a posture where your head is below your heart (downward facing dog, shoulder stand, handstand, headstand, forearm stand, forward fold, etc). As cool as these poses look and feel, they do serve a purpose. Below are 8 benefits that come from hanging out upside down:
As a caution, if you have high blood pressure, heart conditions or inner ear complications you should consult a physician before taking an inversion.
1. Build core strength: In yoga, everything stems from your core. Inversions require an incredible amount of core strength, since maintaining your balance while inverted comes from engaging your core.
2. Develop upper body strength: In an inversion (where you are both upside-down and holding your own weight in either your forearms or in your hands), strength comes from your arms, shoulders and back to keep you from collapsing. You will likely fall if your shoulders are too far forward by your ears, however, if you pull your shoulder blades back and down your spine, you can hold the pose for longer. This movement is what builds upper body strength, since drawing your shoulders away from your ears develops the muscles, as you work against the weight of your own body as well as gravity to maintain correct alignment in order to stabilize the inversion.
3. Strengthen ligaments: Ligaments are the fibrous connective tissue between bones. In the spine, ligaments exist all around the vertebrae; some are thick and strong, limiting movement, while other ligaments permit movement, but are not as strong or durable. As you invert, this reverse loading on the spine strengthens weaker less durable ligaments, which can aid in the long term as a preventative measure against possible spinal injuries. Strong spine = less problems.
4. Realign your spine: Sleeping, sitting, slouching, standing, and walking—all compress the spine, especially in the lumbar area. This means that synovial fluid, which lubricates the spine, has a harder time moving around the vertebrae as the discs become more tightly packed together. If you invert, you can decompress your spine, letting gravity work to create space between the vertebrae once more. This can help release back pain, while also improving posture. [Read more…] about 8 Reasons Why You Should Hangout Upside-down