PRAS High School Yoga-Inversion Benefits
Pine River High School students in yoga class practice inversions including handstands, headstands, shoulder stands, among many other inversion poses. Inversions (or being upside down) has many health benefits but also must be practiced with caution. It’s important to listen to your body and do what is right for the individual. There are many different yoga inversions that range from beginner to advanced. A more basic beginner inversion would be the standing forward fold.
Benefits of Standing Forward Fold
“Uttanasana combines the benefits of forward folds and inversions. Dropping your head below your heart calms your brain. This helps to relieve stress, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, mild depression, and insomnia. Uttanasana also deeply stretches and lengthens your hamstrings and calves. It opens the hips and can relieve tension in the neck and shoulders. Practicing this pose stimulates the liver and kidneys, while improving digestion. It is also known to be therapeutic for stress, asthma, sinusitis, high blood pressure, infertility, and osteoporosis.”
Other Inversion Benefits:
1. REVERSE THE BLOOD FLOW IN THE BODY AND IMPROVE CIRCULATION:
Use gravity to provide the brain with more oxygen and blood, thus improving mental function, including concentration, memory and processing abilities.
2. INCREASE IMMUNITY AND PREVENT ILLNESS:
The lymphatic system is a key player in keeping the body healthy. As lymph moves through the body it picks up toxins and bacteria to be eliminated by the lymph nodes. Because lymph moves as a result of muscle contractions and gravity, getting upside-down allows lymph to more easily travel into the respiratory system, where many of the toxins enter the body.
Feeling that 3pm slump coming on? Get upside-down! Heating inversions such as Handstand, Headstand and Forearm Balance get more blood moving to the brain, which results not only in physical invigoration but mental revitalization as well.
While the heating inversions energize, inversions of the cooling type (Shoulder Stand and Legs Up the Wall) work to calm the nervous system, thereby activating the parasympathetic nervous system and producing feelings of balance and calm.
5. IMPROVE BALANCE:
Up the ante! Once you’ve mastered balancing on one or two legs, the obvious next step is finding equanimity on hands and head.
6. INCREASE CORE STRENGTH:
Of course inversions don’t just work your arms or legs — they’re total-body toners.