Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fright Night! Don't Let Inversions Scare You Off!

Some people are afraid of spiders, others fear snakes or scary movies. For me, I am terrified of yoga inversions! How can I possibly turn my body upside down without falling or suffocating? Three simple things helped me move from being a victim to being victorious with yoga inversions!
Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)
Photos by Wanakhavi Wahkisi

1. Be Aware...Be Very Aware! 
 In order to conquer fear, you must be aware of your safety options! Take a moment to surround yourself with pillows, a wall and maybe a friend.
Headstand- Use your core to lower your body up & down.
In headstand, your neck should never feel like it's bearing all the weight.
 Press your forearms into the ground.
Slowly feel your body rise and lower from your belly button. 
Always use child's pose to counterbalance.
Headstand is great for those moments when you have a lot on your mind. 

2. Let it Fall
I have fallen and busted my butt many times in the center of a yoga class.  It is okay to fall and look stupid. But don't worry about how you look and focus on how you feel! 
Forearm Stand aka Pincha Mayurasana
Pincha Mayurasana is tricky. It is both an arm balance and an inversion. The hands are squared. Work with lining up your neck and the spine. You will feel every part of your body working to support you. Allow your forearms to press into the ground as your shoulders expand to balance upper the body so that you don't fall backwards. Always pay attention to your core stomach muscles! Peacock is a supreme pose for maintaining your focus.

3. Have Fun
Tripod headstand is another inverted arm balance. The key here is to place your hands in a pyramid with your head being at the top. Creating that triangular balance at the base will stabilize you as you raise the body.

When getting into tripod, place one knee on the elbow and start to extend the opposite leg. Pull the belly muscles in or else you will collapse. Keep pressing the hands into the ground. Keep opening the shoulders.

Tripod Headstand
 Once you are stable, play around with your body. Don't judge your body. See what feels natural and then go one step further.

Yoga inversions are often seen as the last frontier in the asana practice. But I suggest everyone experiment early. Don't build up fear and let inversions scare you. Learn your body.  Prepare yourself to jump head first into the unknown.

Come learn more about inversions!
Soul Flow Yoga with Anacostia Yogi
Mondays 7pm-8pm at Ryland Epworth Church
3200 S Street SE
Washington DC 20020


Alexis said...

Amazing as always! Full disclosure: I'm terrified of inversions. I always observe during this part of class. Never even tried :/

Sariane Leigh said...

Nothing wrong with the fear! That is only natural. Now just play with setting yourself up! Hopefully you come to class and we can ease you into a new experience!

See you soon.