Last updated on September 24th, 2023.
Yoga inversions are a type of pose that pushes the body out of its ordinary posture. They can be very beneficial but hard to understand at first. Beginners might wonder how they might be able to accomplish inversions with very little experience.
Though it might seem tricky, yoga inversions can be accomplished with a little bit of guidance. Beginners should not be afraid of these. With a little work, they will become masters in no time at all.
Keep on reading to learn more about how you, as a beginner, can take on yoga inversions. By the time you’re done reading, you should be able to level up your yoga life.
What is an Inversion in Yoga?
If you have never done an inversion before, you might wonder what they are. What separates an inversion in yoga from other moves?
A yoga inversion is different from other poses because:
- It sets the head below the heart
- It places the head below the hips
- It pushes your body out of its normal position
All of these define a yoga inversion.
In essence, a yoga inversion alters the stance that you usually take. It is intended to release tension, improve energy levels, strengthen muscles, and increase circulation throughout your body.
Yoga inversions are also thought to help with a variety of mental health issues. Practitioners of these yoga inversion poses might feel more grounded, calm, and feel in control of the emotions that they are experiencing.
How Do I Get Started with Inversions?
The best way to get started with inversions is to attempt them yourself. You should locate videos online that might assist you in your journey, guiding you on a step-by-step process. If you don’t want to learn by watching videos, you might consider:
- Taking a beginner’s yoga inversion class that focuses on inversions
- Asking a friend who is familiar with some poses to teach you
- Looking up instructions online that will give you each step in the process
There is a ton of information out there in the world.
If you learn best with other people, getting started with inversions should be done in a class or with a friend. On the other hand, those who are better at teaching themselves will thrive by watching videos or locating instructions on a website. The guides are out there. You need to decide the format that will work best for you.
Are Yoga Inversions Hard?
The word inversion often throws beginner yogis off. It sounds as if these positions are hard, impossible for the average yoga participant. We’ll discuss this question a little further to clear things up.
Some yoga inversions are indeed difficult to master. The trickiest ones include:
- Handstand Variations: A handstand is a yoga inversion, along with the various positions that come with it. This variation is very hard. Not only does it require tremendous strength, but it needs the user to have excellent balance as well.
- The Scorpion: This pose is a handstand, but with the legs arched over the head. This movement requires all of the strength and balance of the headstand, plus flexibility. Only the most experienced yogis can master this.
- Forearm Stand: Though this is the easiest of these three, it is still hard. This handstand has you balancing on your forearms rather than your hands. Balance and strength are a must.
These are hard to master, even for the most advanced yogis.
However, it is not true that all yoga inversions are hard. Many options are simple and easy to accomplish. A beginner at yoga should not run away from inversions. By mastering the simple positions, you will be able to work your way up until you are ready to take on the most challenging versions.
What is the Easiest Yoga Inversion?
Yoga inversions might seem impossible to take on, but there are many easy options out there for less experienced yogis. You might wonder what the most basic inversion of all is. One stands out above the rest – Downward Facing Dog.
This inversion is easy because:
- It lacks complexity: Downward Facing Dog is a simple pose. Once you see it, you can do it. It doesn’t take a million tries to master this simple skill.
- It requires less strength: This inversion does not require the yogi to push themselves up on their hands or support their body weight. Those who lack the strength other inversions require will have an easy time with this one.
Both of these make Downward Facing Dog one of the easiest yoga inversions to learn and do.
We will talk a little more about this particular inversion later on. It is beneficial for a beginner to take on. You should attempt to try this as your first inversion if you want to start with something a little less complex.
3 Great Starter Yoga Versions for Beginners
Now that you know a little more about yoga inversions, you might wonder if any specific poses are good to start with on their first try. After all, some of them are much more difficult than others. It can be tricky to understand where to begin, even with abundant knowledge of yoga inversions.
Three yoga inversions are ideal for beginners to start with at first. We will go over each of them in-depth, demonstrating their benefits and how a user can accomplish them. Some of these are harder than others, but all of them should easily be able to be accomplished by a yogi of any level.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog is the first pose on our list. As we discussed above, this one is the easiest out of all of them to accomplish. The movements required are simple and require a minimal amount of strength.
A beginner can do Downward Facing Dog by doing the following steps:
- Getting on the ground: You should first get down on the ground, hands, and feet planted on the ground. You should be on a firm but squishy surface.
- Placing your limbs: Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart, and your fingers should be spread apart. Tuck your toes as they will be pressing your body into the air.
- Pushing into position: Exhale and lift your knees off of the ground. You should be in an upside-down ‘V’ position, lifting your lips and relaxing your neck and shoulders.
- Breathing: As you breathe in and out, take charge of your pattern. Lift your body higher on the exhales, gently extending yourself as much as you feel comfortable doing.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you can sink into Child’s Pose or come out of the inversion in a way that feels natural to you.
Downward Facing Dog has a lot of benefits. It stretches out many parts of your body, from your back to your calves. It’s calming and energizing. A beginner can build their strength with this one slowly, preparing to move on to bigger poses as they prepare their body.
You should only stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable. If it starts to hurt, pull yourself out of the position. The more you do it, the more natural it will feel.
The Dolphin Pose
The Dolphin Pose is essentially an extended version of the Downward Facing Dog. Beginners should master the dog pose before moving on to this one. This reasoning is because it requires a little more strength to complete.
A user can accomplish this pose by:
- Doing Downward Dog: First, get in the Downward Facing Dog position. This step will allow you to get into the Dolphin Pose with the least amount of trouble.
- Sliding the knees up: Next, you will need to slide your knees and legs up until your straight legs are almost in line with your hips.
- Getting on your forearms: Rather than being on your hands, you should slide onto your forearms. Tuck your head in between your biceps.
- Breathing: Focus on the same breathing pattern as the Downward Facing Dog. This system will ensure that you do not injure yourself and that you focus on relaxing.
Come out of this pose by gently lowering your hips. If you feel pain in your wrists, you should not take on this inversion. This one might be hard for those with wrist or elbow injuries.
The Dolphin Pose is beneficial for the body because it helps you stretch out various limbs, such as your hamstrings and back. By being in the Dolphin, you will achieve a sense of serenity that few other poses can accomplish. This one is a little harder than Downward Dog but worth an attempt.
The Shoulder Stand
The Shoulder Stand is the trickiest one on this list, but it is not so hard that a beginner cannot accomplish it. All it requires is a little bit of strength and a lot of faith in your abilities.
The Shoulder Stand can be accomplished by:
- Lying down: You should first lie down when attempting the Shoulder Stand. Make sure that your shoulder blades are firmly pressed into the mat or surface you are on top of on your floor.
- Lifting your hips: Next, you should raise your hips. This step is to prepare your body for lifting the legs. Pull your legs over your head until they touch the ground behind you.
- Raising your legs: Once this is done, raise your legs straight up towards the ceiling. They should be in line with your hips.
- Moving your hips: Lift your hips off of the ground, supporting them with your hands. Exhale as you do this.
After this, you should be in the Shoulder Stand position. If you are not aligned right, this may hurt. Ensure that your shoulders and hips are firmly in place as you go about attempting this inversion.
The Shoulder Stand is excellent because it helps ease the mind while also stretching the shoulders and neck. It is also said that this inversion can assist with digestion and even relieve the worst symptoms of menopause.
Yoga inversions are beneficial and easy to learn if you have the correct information. Anyone of any experience level can take these asanas on and feel they know what they are doing. All it takes is a little guidance to get started with these alternative positions in the yoga universe.
With the advice written here, you should be able to figure out some easy inversions in no time at all. They will have your body feeling healthier and more fit in no time at all. You’ll be able to incorporate these into your regular yoga routine.