January 31: Inversions (Vol 1: Easy and Restorative)

Need a change in perspective? Turn the world upsidedown.  Gotta love inversions!

Richard Freeman Rocks!

A little bit about myself: In May of 2001 I broke two vertebrae in my cervical spine.  Yoga is one of the secrets to my incredible recovery.  In the last couple of months a discomfort in my body has revealed itself as a potentially pinched nerve (bone spurs from my injury).  In order to heal myself I am taking several months off of any “upper body intensive” asanas.

Understand, I love being upside-down.  Inversions are my mind alteration of choice.

Me at Burning Man 2010.

It has been really hard on me to forgo handstand, crow and all the other lovely arm balances that flip the world on its head.  But no need to fret.  I have a trick up my sleeve.

Asana Practice:

“Viparita Karani” (pronounced vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee), also known as “Legs up the
Wall Pose.”


Sara Avant Stover wrote a lovely piece on this pose in her newsletter. Here it is:


1. Sit on the floor with one hip pressed right against the wall.
If you are not on carpeting or a bed, spread a mat or blanket
evenly underneath you.

2. Exhale and, with one smooth movement, swing your legs up
onto the wall and your shoulders and head lightly down onto
the floor.

3. How close your hips are to the wall here will depend upon
how open the muscles are in the backs of your legs. If you are
more flexible, your sitting bones will be close to the wall.

If that feels like a strain, back your hips away from the wall so
that your legs are more than 90 degrees away from your torso.
Keep your legs relatively firm, just enough to hold them
vertically in place.

4. Rest your arms slightly away from your side, palms up. Close
your eyes, cast your gaze downwards toward your heart.
Breathe smoothly and evenly through your nostrils. Let your
belly expand and contract with the breath.

5. To come out, bend your legs, press your feet into the wall,
and roll to one side. Rest there for a few moments before
using your hands to press back up to a seated position.

Try this effective respite in the midst of your work day (after
lunch is a good time), after traveling, or when laying on your
bed before you go to sleep at night. All you need is 5 minutes–
but if you have 10 or 15, that’s even better!”

Sara is the founder of The Way of the Happy Woman.  I adore her newsletter.  Check it out at: www.TheWayoftheHappyWoman.com.  She teaches about meditation, yoga and does a program called Life Balance for Women.

Look for more Inversion Blog entries in the “Inversion” category.

Please offer any feedback. I’d love to receive questions or requests regarding the content of my blog.



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