Yoga as a form of exercise has been increasing in popularity over the last few years—in particular, the practice of yoga asana. Asana is the part of yoga that includes poses and postures, and each pose brings with it its own unique benefits. Inversions, or poses that position the head below the heart, are worth incorporating into any yoga practice. You don’t have to be able to do a handstand; laying on the floor with a pillow under your lower back and your legs up the wall is more than enough to reap these benefits.
Improves Circulation and Lymphatic Drainage
Getting upside down stimulates blood flow toward the lungs, which can then deliver more oxygen back into the blood. Our lymphatic system is part of our circulatory and immune system, but as it doesn’t have its own pump like the heart, sometimes it requires a little help. Practicing inverted poses is a great way to help it along so that it can effectively eliminate your body’s waste.
In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy!” and inversions are no exception. Some studies have shown that inverted poses like handstands or forearm stands increase blood flow to the brain and cause endorphins to be released, which can leave you feeling more alert and energized after your practice.