Ask YogaToday With Neesha Zollinger: How Can I Improve My Inversion Practice?

  • Brit Hastings
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Inversions, like supported headstand, can be a joyful and expansive part of your yoga practice. In order to be safe going upside-down, we must build strength and awareness in the body. Here are a few specific tips to get you started! 

In particular, inversions require:

  • A solid foundation. Pay attention to the placement of your hands, head, and forearms.
  • An open shoulder girdle. Strength through the backs of your shoulders will help you maintain good alignment in the pose.
  • An awareness of your center; legs must hug to the center line of your body.
  • A certain degree of flexibility in the legs and hips so you can safely lift your lower body up (and down).

I suggest focusing on one component at a time for a couple of weeks and see if you can make some progress. For example, during one practice, you might concentrate on drawing into the midline with your legs in every pose. In your next class you could think about clear alignment with attention to strengthening and opening your shoulders. I find that it helps to work on one element at a time until you start to gain more confidence in your foundation.

Since inversions can be intimidating, I also suggest seeking out an experienced teacher for further support. We all have blind spots (especially when we are upside-down!) so individual coaching will be beneficial. Pointers as simple as your hand placement or core engagement can make all the difference. An instructor’s feedback will guide your upside-down exploration and then it’s all about practice, practice practice!

Finally, please tap into the flow and enjoy the process while keeping your “eye on the prize.” Self-discovery in and of itself is such a reward, after all! Revel in your journey and let me know how it goes!

Still want more? Try my Inversion Workshop or this great option with Sarah Kline.