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Updated: Feb 4, 2023

In relation to mindful movement, an inversion is defined as any pose or movement which aligns our heart above our head. Inversions have been practiced for thousands of years.

There are yang versions and yin versions of inversions. Some extreme yang inversion examples are Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksana) and Supported Headstand (Urdhva Dhanurasana). Some yin inversion examples are Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani) and Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana).

I often incorporate yin inversions in my Mindful Movement and Meditation classes. I particularly love a Yin Wall Sequence, which involves having our legs up the wall in various poses. I find it very replenishing.

It is important to remember that inversions aren’t appropriate for everyone. There are contraindications and cautions, particularly for the more yang inversions.

Contraindications are:

  • Glaucoma

  • Retinal detachment

  • Current eye issues/infection

  • Recent stroke, brain injury, concussion.

Exercise caution with:

  • Unmedicated high blood pressure

  • Low blood pressure. Make sure you come out of any inversion very slowly.

  • Shoulder issues. Monitor the comfort of your shoulders.

  • Current headache. The increase in blood flow to the head can increase headache intensity.

  • Current head infection (sinusitis, ear infection etc). The increased blood flow to the head can be very uncomfortable.

  • Past neck and shoulder surgery.

  • It may trigger a hot flush.

  • Heavy period.

  • Heart conditions.

  • Pregnancy.

  • Recent Botox injections.

  • Recent surgery.

If you’re unsure about inverting, please discuss it with your health practitioner. Do a little research for yourself, both academic as well as experiential. Remember, if at any stage you feel uncomfortable in any pose or something doesn’t feel right, please carefully come out of the pose. You know your body better than anyone else. Listen to your body.

The wonderful benefits of inversions:

1. Improve blood flow to head & brain, which helps with concentration & memory.

2. Improve lymph flow, which can help increase immunity.

3. Help digestion & detoxification.

4. Relieve excess fluid built up in legs.

5. Help build core & upper body strength.

6. Energising.

7. The more yang inversions help to build confidence and allow you to play with your edge.

8. Offer a new perspective on life.

9. Awaken the playfulness and fun of our inner child.

10. Longevity.

One of my esteemed teachers, Dustin Brown, introduced me to a FeetUP trainer in early 2019. I'm hooked! It has allowed me to slowly increase my core and arm strength, and be able to incorporate more yang style inversions back into my daily practice. I find it is great for my overall health, energy, and mental clarity. I always feel a lightness in my heart and a bounce in my step following the use of my trainer.

Have you had any experience with inversions? Have you had any experience with inverting using a FeetUP trainer? I'd love to hear about your experiences, you can add them to the comments page if you'd like.

I wish you all the best in exploring inversions.

xx Freya

PS. Fun FeetUP Slow Flow classes and Mindul Movement & Meditation classes are available at Maitri Studio Brighton.

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