A few weeks ago, my friend Ansley and I led an arm balance and inversion workshop at The Cornwell Center. We designed this workshop around the common “tricks” most yogis want to learn. We asked the participants to write on the mirror (with dry erase markers..not sharpies!) the two main inversions they wanted to learn. Mountain climber, crow, side crow, headstand, and handstand were the most popular requests.
Much to Ansley’s dismay, I offered everyone a money back guarantee if they didn’t leave doing at least one of the stunts we taught. (Basically, I just blurted it out in our introductions) Lucky for us, every got into at least one arm balance or inversion. (And lucky for them, they got into something, right?)
Ansley led the group through a warm up, being careful not to add to many vinyasas…saving their shoulders. We have both been to workshops similar to this one in the past, and agreed that sometimes the warm up was so intense, we were too worn out to do anything else!
Inversions are so good for you. It doesn’t have to be a handstand or a headstand if that seems scary to you! You can get yourself into happy baby, shoulder stand, or even prop your legs up against a wall.
Below is a list of the top 10 benefits of getting upside down:
- Inversions reverse the blood flow in the body and improve circulation
- Increase immunity and prevent illness.
- Improve balance.
- Increase core strength. And shoulders and arms
- Build confidence.
- Stay humble.
- Literally give us a new perspective on life.
- Inversions are fun!
–list borrowed from Yoganonymous. Read the full article HERE
Here is my friend Courtney getting off the wall in her handstand! Handstand is still my nemesis. I have been working for over a year pretty much daily. There are days that I hold it (off a wall!) for a long time. (and by a long time I mean 10 seconds.) Then there are days where I have actually crumbled to the ground. The important thing is–I keep doing it. I want handstand in my practice. So I practice it.
Ansley and I are not experts at any of these inversions. I think that is what made the workshop so successful. We were able to share what works and what hasn’t worked for us to get into some of these poses. Ansley and I also have different training backgrounds, so it was awesome to share varied perspectives.
This is me in my favorite inversion, Fallen Angel.
This workshop was so fun and informative for us as teachers and for the attendants. Be on the lookout for another one in 2015 at The Cornwell Center!
How do you feel about inversions in your yoga practice? What is your favorite arm balance and why?