Inversion Yoga: Benefits, Myths + Video Instruction

Inversion Yoga Benefits on the BeachAlthough yoga inversions have many health benefits, they differ from using an inversion table. Since postures typically are performed while the person is touching the ground with hands, feet or both, these exercises are not necessarily meant for stretching out the spine and discs.

That said, inversion yoga poses work well for strengthening both the core and back. Plus they increase blood flow to the head and help relieve stress.

Some people even believe that yoga positions can aid with digestion and help flush the adrenal glands for improved function. Certified yoga instructors can help beginners learn proper movements. Therefore, newbies feel more comfortable being upside down while they perform the movements.

Inversion Yoga Benefits – Without Inverting All the Way

In addition to the well-known headstand and handstand positions, other inversions include the plow pose and shoulder stand. Typically, beginners find these poses easier to learn. Plus, you don’t have to fully invert into a completely upside down handstand.

Both the plow and the shoulder stand start with the person laying on his or her back. The person then progresses to moving the knees into the chest.

For a shoulder stand, the person would then straighten their legs and feet. Thus, they elevate the lower half of their body into the air vertically.

Inverted Plow Pose for Beginners (without doing full yoga inversion)In the plow pose, the person would similarly straighten the legs. However, instead of raising them toward the ceiling, they will horizontally to touch the floor in front of the head.

This movement can actually provide a nice stretch for the spine. I addition, no additional vertical pressure is put on the discs during the exercise. See more exercises for relieving back pain.

More Good Beginner Yoga Inversions:

Downward Dog Inverted Yoga PoseDownward Dog or Dolphin Pose make good “lead-in” exercises for people who have not yet tried handstands.

You can get more comfortable being upside down in an inverted position without having to take your feet off the ground. Furthermore, this more stable posture can also provide a nice stretch.

Some runners find that they start experiencing lower back pain due to improper running form or the repetitive pounding ion the pavement. Movements such as these can sometimes provide significant relief. Plus, you don’t even need to get fully inverted.

Who Will Not Benefit from Inverted Yoga Poses:

Just like using an inversion table, not everyone should do inverted poses. For example, if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, neck injuries, a detached retina, a heart condition or other health issues, you want to avoid these movements altogether. Talk with your doctor first.

Doing an Inverted Yoga Handstand Without Injuring Yourself:

Check out this video from Yoga Journal which explains different inverted movements and to how to progress to full inverted handstand against the wall. In addition, the instructor walks you through a basic warm-up and hip opening movements.

These steps are important for maintaining flexibility in the back. Not to mention, preventing potential posture problems and back pain.

Yoga Inversion Swing Benefits:

Yoga Swing for Performing Inversion Yoga

A tool sometimes used in yoga practice is what’s called an inversion or yoga sling. These provide more of the benefits that users would received from an inversion table, yet they offer people great flexibility in their movements.

If your body is not stiff and you are not experiencing back pain, these yoga accessories can be a wonderful way to expand your practice and gain additional stretch and increase flexibility while not being constrained to the ground. In addition, it is also useful in building core and back strength.

An inversion sling can be used indoors or outdoors, in both strength-building routines or relaxation sessions. In fact, there is no reason you could not incorporate a meditation practice while hanging upside down.

Check out the short video below explaining how to use an inversion swing:

Inversion Yoga

Get the yoga swing here (with DVD)

So, whether you decide to incorporate more inversion postures into your vinyasa or hatha yoga routines or you use specific for back and core strengthening, you can see that there are lots of options and multiple benefits. In fact, has 10 reasons why you should do a headstand everyday.