Last updated on August 25th, 2023.
Yoga can have many benefits. Whether you need to improve your body, calm your mind, or cleanse your soul, you can find the answer in various yoga poses, techniques, and crafts, some of which can help you greatly. One such yoga technique is the inversion.
The top five benefits of yoga inversions are:
- Better Blood Circulation
- Greater Flexibility
- A Decrease in Soreness and Muscle Pain
- An Increase in Your Overall Alertness
- A Greater Sense of Peace of Mind
With benefits like these, you can see why the inversion is such a popular technique when it comes to beginners of yoga and experts alike. Anyone can learn the inversion, and anyone can be greatly benefited by it.
What Makes a Pose "An Inversion" in Yoga?
One of the most helpful poses is the “inversion”, a form where your hearts and hips are over your head. There are a lot of yoga inversion poses which incorporate this technique and it might be easier for you to achieve than you may think.
An inversion is achieved when the heart is at a higher elevation than the head, essentially meaning you’re upside down. This could be achieved through a handstand, a stretch, or a twist of your body. What makes an inversion unique is that it’s a technique that yoga inversions for beginners can use when they’re starting out but it can be carried over the more the advance and the more they become capable of with techniques of greater difficulty that they can eat themselves into as they progress.
Once you master the inversion, you’ll get to apply it to your current routine and explore the boundless possibilities in which you can use it. An inversion is versatile enough to find a place with even the most experienced practitioners, as research has found that people who practice yoga are more often healthier than those who don’t.
What's an Example of a Yoga Pose That's an Inversion?
You might have seen an inversion before even if you didn’t know the name, After all many inversions aren’t labeled as such but fall under the same category. For example a handstand when performed correctly is an inversion because your body is in an inverted state.
An inversion is performed differently depending on the pose, but the same principals usually apply. The process involves stretching your body while keeping your back straight. You could lean up against a wall for some stretches or start on the ground and dip your body upwards.
Some familiar yoga poses that are inversions are;
- A forward folding pose, where you stand straight up and touch your toes. This is a very common pose that almost everyone has done at some point, whether it be in gym class (or specifically a yoga inversion class) or before going on a long run.
- A dolphin pose, where you start in a plank position and bring your arms closer to your chest while moving your belly and rear upwards. This intermediate exercise can be a great workout for your arms and core while also helping you stretch and relieve tension.
- A handstand, where you invert your whole body and stand upside down. This is a more advanced technique that requires more practice and upper body strength to pull off safely. If you’re a beginner, make sure you have a spotter to avoid risk.
As you can see, an inversion is a broad category that can come in many forms and suit many different skill sets. Performing inversions can be beneficial, but make sure you’re taking care to avoid unnecessary risks of injury, especially for more complex techniques.
What are 5 Benefits of Doing Yoga Inversions?
Inversions in yoga have many huge benefits that are both noticeable and subtle. By the time you master an inversion, you’ll likely have been performing yoga for a bit of time, and thus you’ll have already seen some changes, which are only amplified by the benefits that inversions can bring you.
On and off the yoga mat, you’ll find greater benefits in your daily life. You can notice more energy throughout the day, better sleep at night, and a more calming state of mind even in stressful situations. Inversions can be a great way to lay the groundwork for improvements in all areas of life.
One aspect to note however is safety. Inversions might not be a good idea if you are in a packed room or if you or around other objects. Especially in the case of beginners you might run the risk of falling over and hurting yourself or others around you if you perform any of the exercises wrong. Safety should always be you’re number one priority, thankfully within versions there are plenty of different styles, variations, and techniques you can do to match your skill level and can help you train yourself until you are ready for the more advanced techniques.
The Top 5 Benefits of Doing Inversions
The best advantages you’ll see doing inversions are better blood circulation in your body, increased flexibility, increased peace of mind, an increase in general alertness, and a decrease in stiffness and muscular discomfort.
Experts agree that yoga can have many long term benefits and can decrease your risk of issues like arthritis later on in life, as well as improve your body in the current day. Yoga can be an avenue for many techniques and crafts like inversions, and you’ll find that it can be easy to learn these techniques and apply them to your own routine.
1. Better Blood Circulation
Yoga can help relax your body while also stretching and working it out. This in turn can improve your blood circulation by pumping more oxygen into your brain. With the increased blood circulation you’ll notice that you even start to look different because your skin cells will be replenished, your face will have more of a glow, and you’ll feel better as the increased circulation helps dispose of wasteful cells in your system.
Better blood circulation can affect all areas of your body, from helping you feel more alert in your brain to helping supply nutrients to the rest of your body. Good circulation can also prevent harm to kidneys and heart muscle and keep your body safe from harm.
Inversions are particularly helpful in this case even when compared to other yoga exercises. When we turn ourselves upside down, we allow our blood to flow to vital areas like our brain and our heart easier which can help the vital fluids travel faster without much obstruction.
2. Become More Flexible
The biggest benefit to stretching is, of course, flexibility. What acts like inversions are doing is that they train our body to be able to move in uncommon directions without pain or stiffness. Our joints aren’t used to anything like this but with constant practice you’ll find that turning your body all sorts of ways can be just as easy and natural as any other motion you do.
Stretching can keep your muscles active and ready to move without obstruction which is why athletes often stretch before a workout so that they can perform all of their necessary motions without risking pulling their joints or injuring themselves.
3. Do Away with Soreness
One great benefit is that you’ll find yourself significantly less sore after a workout because of stretching like inversions. Soreness happens because when we work out we’re tearing muscle and resting puts it back together stronger than before. When we stretch we’re relieving the stress muscles are going through, and you’ll find that you’ll get rid of soreness without losing your gains from working out.
Inversions can help speed up this process because you’re performing a large range of motion when you stretch. Since this causes great blood flow and circulation, your body doesn’t need to work as hard restoring torn muscles and thus, will heal you faster.
4. Energize your Day
Another big benefit of inversions is something that you’ll see and notice all day. You’re going to notice that you have a lot more energy. Maybe you’re someone who needs a Big gulp of coffee to get them through the day, or maybe you’re somebody who doesn’t enter peak performance until your days are already halfway over. Thankfully there’s a way to alleviate this naturally and it’s by stretching and performing exercises just like inversions.
The reason this happens is the previously mentioned increase of blood flow to your brain. Energy we normally feel comes from how active our brains are and how quickly and effectively they can process information, which is normally less effective when we’re tired. By performing inversions, we’re helping out the process by pumping more oxygen into our brains, allowing them to remain more active. When we would normally feel tired, our brains instead get the signal that it’s time to get to work.
5. Peace of Mind
Yoga is considered a form of meditation, which means it can help relax your body as well as your mind. When you perform exercises like inversions, you are putting your body in a more relaxed state which can help you quiet your mind and focus on your breathing and stretching. This is why many turn to yoga as a form of controlling their mental state to achieve a greater peace of mind.
Practices and habits like these are effective in reducing stress, calming anxiety, and focusing your attention and concentration on singular things and helping you to note unnecessary or harmful thoughts. When you perform inversions, you are likely going to be giving the exercise your full attention and therefore, will tune out any stressful thoughts you might have.
Why Inversions Can Really Help You Out
Another benefit that most people don’t take into account is the increase in confidence that you feel once you perform these techniques correctly. Have you ever pictured yourself doing a handstand? You may or may not have, but once you master techniques like this you’ll be able to do them without worry. Once you accomplish it for the first time, it’ll be a feeling that you won’t easily forget, and the best part is you look good doing it too.
You’ll notice an increase in your overall health, flexibility, and strength as you perform these exercises routinely. More importantly, inversions can just be fun too. It’s always interesting to see where we can push our bodies and see how far we can go.
Performing inversions long term can help us understand our bodies better. It can teach us our limits so that we can work and train to overcome them, while enjoying personal growth along the way.