August Yoga Studio Focus: Inversions



Headless Headstand/Forearm Stand Prep

This August our monthly focus at the Watershed Wellness Yoga Studio will be getting our hearts over our heads in inversions. Inversions can be polarizing poses in yoga classes, often inspiring feelings of fear or anxiety, or perhaps feelings of joy and accomplishment. Regardless of how you feel about inversions, they can be a beneficial and fun part of any yoga practice.

What are inversions?

Any pose where we put the hips above the heart and the heart above the head is an inversion. These are poses where we go upside down and literally invert our world. Once upside down, even the simplest of movements can be confusing as we experience a different, and perhaps unfamiliar, relationship to gravity. With practice, even the most challenging inversions can become poses that you enjoy doing, and that provide a sense of peace and calm to the nervous system.

Why practice inversions?

There are many reasons out there for why inversions should be part of your yoga practice. We’ve come across claims that inversions can help increase blood flow to the brain, reverse your circulation, and lower your blood pressure. While these claims sound like awesome benefits to an inversion practice, we’re not completely convinced that physiologically these benefits happen in the body by inverting.

Here’s what we DO know about inversions:

-they change your perspective
-they can be great for proprioception (knowing where your body is in space)
-they can build strength throughout the body (core, legs, shoulders, arms, you name it)
-they can build balance
-they can be profoundly uplifting and fun
-they can be profoundly calming and relaxing

Getting your heart above your head can happen in a variety of yoga poses:

Does the idea of going upside down terrify you? Not to worry! There are many inversions that are gentle enough for anyone to practice. When approached in a thoughtful and intentional way, practitioners who are ready to move on can safely explore poses like headstand, forearm stand and handstand.

All of these poses reap the benefits of having the head below the heart, while fostering different emotional states ranging from uplifting to calming. Interested in knowing more? Come to any class during the month of August for some inversion exploration.

Watershed Wellness is offering a special workshop just for inversions in late August. This workshop will be taught by Jamie Savva and will include:

  • fundamentals for the classic inversions: handstand, headstand, & forearm stand
  • strength training
  • partner work

Details on time and registration coming soon.

Not sure what class is for you? Take a look at what classes we offer.

New to yoga? Start here.

Want to read more about our previous monthly areas of focus?

Questions? Reach out!

Written by Amanda Barp

Amanda Barp is co-founder of Watershed Wellness, a licensed massage therapist with 10+ years experience, a registered yoga teacher with a passion for learning and teaching about the human body & how to feel at home in it.