10 Reasons for Travel Nurses to Practice Yoga Inversions
Purposely turning ourselves upside down is contrary to our human physical nature, but the benefits are incredible. Similar to how yoga encourages us to move away from unconscious habitual patterns, the invitation to invert is another way to step outside of our comfort zones.
An inversion is defined by any yoga posture where the head is below the heart. The most commonly known inversions are headstand, handstand, forearm stand, etc. There are also more gentle inversions that are more accessible for all students such as down dog, standing forward fold or even legs up the wall one of my all-time favorites)!
Like anything else, you always have the option of whether you want to invert or not. Some of the reasons a practitioner might choose not to invert would be if they have certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, a heart condition, neck injuries, a recent stroke, detached retina, glaucoma, epilepsy and/or pregnancy. Ladies, there’s also a debate on whether or not to invert during menstruation, so always use your own discretion. In yoga, we are always taught to honor our bodies and how we feel on the mat in that particular moment.
10 Yoga Inversion Benefits
- Reverse the blood flow in your body and improve circulation. In this instance, we work smarter – not harder. We use gravity to provide the brain with more oxygen and blood, which increases our mental function. This results in improved concentration, memory and processing abilities.
- Boost immunity and prevent illness. The lymphatic system is key to good health.
- Increase energy. Inversions move the blood to the brain, which provides physical, as well as mental, invigoration.
- Relaxation. Cooling inversions help us calm our nervous system. This activates our parasympathetic nervous system and produces feelings of being peaceful and balanced.
- Improve balance.
- Increase core strength. Inversions create body balance by developing core strength as well as upper body strength.
- Gain self confidence. When we first find ourselves in an inversion successfully, we immediately carry this self worth into our being.
- Stay humble. There’s always a learning curve. There might be a few attempts before we “get it.” Yoga is about the journey and our growth, not necessarily the destination.
- See a new perspective. As we become accustomed to reacting to our world in a predictable way. Inversions allow us to view life from a new angle.
- Get playful. Inversions reintroduce us to our inner child and remind us that while yoga can be a contemplative art form, the practice is also a time to be playful and light-hearted. This can be refreshing to us as adults.
This yoga tip is brought to you by Kathryn McCann of Hang Zen Yogis.