Yoga has been around for centuries, dating back millennia! It is an ancient practice that can help us to live our lives in a more mindful and balanced way. One of the most popular yoga poses is the downward facing dog. This classic posture helps to stretch and strengthen the entire body, while calming the mind. But why stop there? Upside down yoga poses provide an even deeper level of relaxation, while helping to stimulate and strengthen the core muscles. There are a variety of poses you can do upside down, from more advanced versions of the basic downward facing dog to even more daring poses such as the headstand.
The yogi’s perch pose, or side-plank pose, is a great pose to start with if you are new to upside down yoga. This pose strengthens the entire body while helping to improve balance and flexibility. To get into the pose, start by lying on your right side. Place your right hand on your right hip or on the floor for extra stability. Stack your feet and press your left foot into the earth for extra support. From here, slowly lift the torso and open your left arm reaching it toward the sky. Look up at your fingers, then slowly lower your hips back down and repeat on the other side.
Crow pose, or bakasana, is an excellent balancing posture that requires a lot of core strength and focus. The pose helps increase focus while strengthening the abdominal muscles. To do the pose, start in a low squat position with your knees out and hands in front of you on the floor. Place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Shift your weight onto your hands, then lift your feet off the floor and bring your knees into the sides of your arms. Apply equal pressure to your palms, tuck your head in, and try to focus your gaze ahead. Hold the pose for several breaths, making sure to focus on an unmoving point ahead of you. When you’re ready, slowly lower your feet back to the floor and tuck your toes to come into a high plank.
The headstand pose is the most advanced pose in this post, so it’s important to progress gradually and use a wall or a chair for assistance. This classic inversion helps to stimulate the brain, calm the mind, and improve memory. Plus, if done properly, it also helps to increase upper body stabilize and strength. To get into the headstand, start in a kneeling position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Place your head on the floor, then inhale and press your hands into the floor and lift your feet off the floor. Extend one leg and then the other, squeeze your inner thighs together, and focus your gaze forward. Hold the pose for several breaths, then slowly lower your feet and come back into a kneeling position.
No matter your skill level you can explore different poses while upside down. Try one of these poses today to get your blood flowing and help boost mental clarity. Have fun and happy balancing!