The idea of flipping our world upside down can evoke a range of emotions from fear to excitement. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the idea of inverting makes some people nervous while others cannot wait to get upside down and play around on their hands.
Some inversions, like handstand, require more strength than other inverting poses, like Downward-Facing Dog. However, inverting in general offers some amazing benefits that make flipping upside down worth the attention. Here are 5 of the amazing benefits of inverting!
1. Increases Brain Activity and Decreases Stress Levels
Inverting uses gravity to increase blood circulation to the brain, heart, and lungs. The weight of the abdominal organs pressing on the diaphragm also promotes deeper exhalations, which increases the amount of carbon dioxide leaving the body.
The rich supply of blood circulating in the brain increases available oxygen, which invites mental clarity. The increase in oxygen also improves concentration and memory. Additionally, heating-type inversions like Handstand and Headstand, energize the body and spark motivation.
Cooling-type inversions, like Shoulderstand and Legs Up the Wall, calm the nervous system and help the body unwind and de-stress. In general, inversions also help regulate the brain's chemistry and hormones to stabilize the mood and decrease signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
2. Strengthens the Body and Builds Confidence and Resiliency
The intention and attention to practice inversions requires immense mental strength and the core strength to activate the abdominal and back muscles requires tremendous physical strength.
At first, holding a headstand for a second will fatigue the body and mind. Over time, holding a headstand for a few minutes becomes not only attainable, but easy and fun. The commitment to practice inverting increases overall strength. Being upside down is good for spine strength as well because it decompresses the vertebral column and decreases pressure normally placed on the discs.
In addition, especially when an inversion was particularly challenging at first, continuous practice and willingness to try and eventually succeed builds confidence. Learning to fall (repeatedly) and keep trying builds resiliency.
3. Promotes Healthy Skin and Fights Sickness
Not only does a rich supply of blood to the head increase the internal workings of the mind, it also increases the available oxygen to the face and head. The facial capillaries and hair follicles of the scalp are supplied fresh nutrients to promote healthy skin and hair.
Additionally, flipping upside down helps the lymphatic system, a network of vessels in the circulatory and immune system, which is essential to keeping the body healthy. Inverting helps lymph, a mix of white blood cells and other cleansing agents that collect toxins and bacteria for elimination, travel more efficiently and easily through the respiratory system.
Being upside down may also help clear lactic acid and other pain-causing waste within the body and the reversed flow of blood in the legs and visceral regions aids in tissue regeneration.
4. Connects to the Crown Chakra
The crown chakra is the seventh main chakra (or energy center of the body) and is the end of the path to liberation and the start of the path to manifestation. It is located at the crown of the head and goes beyond the limit of the ego.
Among many things, it is associated with trust, devotion, and positive energy. Inverting brings the crown closer to the earth and invites focus and intention toward this powerful chakra. On a spiritual level, inverting connects the mind, body, and soul and fosters connection to the crown chakra.
5. Fosters Change and Creativity
Lastly, the act of inverting alters the relative position of the way things are generally seen and taken for granted. The simple act of inverting invites a change in perspective and promotes creativity. Inversions are also a fun place to play around and try different variations. Inverting changes the way the blood flows and the way the mind works, inviting new possibilities.
With benefits like increased brain activity, confidence, resiliency, strength, and overall health as well as a fostered connection to the crown chakra, there are so many amazing reasons to practice inversions today!