Learning to invert the body can be a joyous and fun experience. There are many small steps that we can take towards the full expression of these postures. With a little daily effort, over time, you will float effortlessly into and out of these liberating asanas.
Mastering inversions is the antidote to fear, weakness, imbalanced hormones, anxiety and depression. Inverting the body regulates the nervous system and the endocrine system. At first these postures may appear to be stressful but once mastered they hold the key to a quick transformation from stressed out to mellowed out.
1. Detailed Anatomical Alignment:
- Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog
- Pincha Mayurasana - Forearm Balance
- Adho Mukha Vrksasana - Handstand
- Salamba Sarvangasana - Shoulder Stand
- Sirsasana - Headstand
- Viparita Karani - Legs Elevated Pose
2. Courage Building - It takes courage to fall and to push ourselves beyond our limits. To explore our potential and to grow we need to be brave. Practice exercises that teach you to fall with grace and awareness. Safety first!
3. Strength and Flexibility Training - learn and practice exercises that build stability and fortitude in the core, hands, arms, shoulders and upper back. A mixture of yoga and other strength training modalities will be used. Counter these strength building techniques with yin stretches that release tension and will allow you to relax into the postures.
4. Power up your Concentration - Learn and practice the art of proprioception. These exercises will allow you to maintain and hold your attention in every fibre of your being. Body awareness without mental distraction is key to success!
A beautiful inversion practice is a marathon not a sprint. With the skills that you learn in this course you will be able to integrate these easy to execute exercise into your regular practice. With a consistent effort the small efforts you make will build a strong and flexible body that will float easily in and out of these spectacular and energizing asanas. Consistency is key!
Hours and Certification
This workshop is a one day, 6 hour intensive and counts as Continuing Education with the American Yoga Alliance for Certified Yoga Teachers seeking to further their studies and accreditations. A certificate will be issued.
What is the course about?
This workshop is about learning to break down the fundamental components of basic inversions. To master these fundamentals we need to conquer our fear of falling, develop strength as well as flexibility and grow our ability to concentrate.
When we invert the body the front of the body becomes the back of the body in the way of perception. Falling forward will place you on your back and this is scary! Developing awareness in these unusual places so that you can come out of the pose with grace can be accomplished by using the wall and working in partners. Creative play will build strength and confidence to explore these poses in a safe and constructive way.
The sixth step along the eight limbed path to Enlightenment is Dharana which means ‘one-pointed’ or concentration. Training your attention to navigate the mechanics of the asana has a soothing effect on the mind. It’s simply not possible - at the early stages - to worry about life’s pressures while practising these poses. The mental effort is enormous and your troubles will melt away as you play and laugh your way through this workshop.
Strength and Flexibility
All Hatha poses need to strike a balance between effort and relaxation to find equilibrium. The great sage Patanjali coins these qualities ‘sthira’ and ‘sukham’ steadiness and ease. The five asanas we will explore require a degree of shoulder flexibility to establish correct alignment. You will be given a series of ‘warm-up’ exercises that will release tension along the shoulder girdle, arms, wrists and hands. Often the tension in our bodies will push us out of the position. Learn to relax and release in all of the right places to arrive in these positions with poise and serenity.
To perfectly counter the gentle aspects of inversions we must be able to contract and find the strength in our hands, true core, as well as in our shoulders. You will be given and we will practice a series of exercises that develop strength in all the right places so that you have the power to maintain perfect poise in these shapes.
Who is this course good for?
This course is appropriate for everyone! All five of these asanas have preparation exercises that we will practice. Work at your own pace! If you are new to inversions spend time focusing on these fundamental building block exercises. If you already have an inversion practice then practice the exercises that will help you to fine tune your inversions. Yoga teachers will leave this workshop with fresh and easy to teach techniques to help you students reach their goals.
What does this course do for you?
Inversions are amazing for releasing stress, regulating hormone production, irradiating anxiety and liberating you from the dark clouds of depression.
Inverting the body is very good for stress as placing the body upside-down soothes the sympathetic nervous system. Our ‘flight/fight and freeze’ response is satiated and our parasympathetic system ‘rest and digest mode’ is stimulated. An overall feeling of calm and tranquility lies in the wake of a long inversion. It takes time to master these poses and you may not describe these poses as relaxing at the onset but with practice you will! Learn how to do these postures when you are not stressed so that when the pressure goes up in your life you have these tools mastered and ready to go.
2. Mental Stability
Hormone production is regulated when inversions are practiced daily. Whether you suffer from general moodiness from time to time or have endured the painful reality of depression, these postures will help to right chemical imbalances in the brain and body. With steady practice a general sense of mental well being will follow.
- Shoulder Stand - balances the thyroid gland that will help to regulate metabolism
- Legs Elevated Pose, Downward Dog, Headstand, Handstand and Forearm Balance all place the head below the heart stimulating the pituitary gland; a pea-shaped gland at the base of your brain that acts as your glandular master. The pituitary gland controls all the other endocrine glands in your body, including the thyroid, parathyroids, pancreas, reproductive glands and adrenals. It regulates hormones that have to do with growth, digestion, protein absorption and use and blood pressure.