• Roslyn Bazzelle

Inversions: How Flipping Upside Down Can Keep You Healthy & Beautiful!

Did you know that when you’re born, you typically come out head-first? At least that’s the way any normal delivery proceeds. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that inversions are actually beneficial and healthy for you. They’ve been incorporated as a part of many yoga routines and exercises. However, the general masses are still not that aware of the major health benefits they have. So, let’s get to the benefits after we discuss what inversions really are!



What are inversions?

Inversion exercises are those in which your body inverts upside down so that your feet are above the level of your head.



Health benefits of inversion exercises

These exercises have numerous health benefits, some of which are listed below:

· They make you stronger, especially the upper part of your body.

Inversion exercises make all the muscles and joints in the upper part of your body work very hard. This leads to an increase in the strength and stamina of those muscles if the exercises are performed regularly.

· They reduce back pain.

Inversion exercises typically involve stretching the spine. A stretch in the spine increases the space between consecutive vertebrae and therefore, reduces any undue pressure on any nerve that might have been compressed in the normal standing position. This ultimately relieves back pain.

· It makes you relax and de-stresses your body.

People who perform inversion exercises have shown a great improvement in mood and they feel relaxed and it removes their stress away.

· It helps fight against the symptoms of aging caused by the effects of gravity.

Inversion is an anti-gravity exercise in the sense that it makes your body feel gravity in the opposite direction. A few minutes of anti-gravity a day and your skin will sag less. Not only this, but people also normally decrease in height as they age. Inversions also slow down this process, making you stay taller for longer!

· Inversion exercises improve blood circulation to the brain. Most of the day our head is above the level of our whole body. Therefore, blood tends to pool in our lower body and even though it does normally reach the head too, inversion exercises increase this circulation to the brain greatly. Improved circulation means more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This, in turn, makes your brain function better. It means better memory, improved concentration and other such abilities.

· It boosts your immunity

Just like inversions improve blood flow to your brain, they also improve lymphatic flow in lymphatic vessels the other way around. Your lymph is mostly involved in giving you immunity. Going upside down makes your lymph flow in the other direction and will revert any blockages. This, in turn, boosts immunity and helps your body fight off infections.

· It makes you more beautiful and clears up your face.

Inversion exercises improve blood circulation to your face. This means your face gets more oxygen and nutrients. These nutrients help your face fight off acne and other skin conditions that may require an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients for healing.

· Promotes digestion.

To understand this, first we need to understand a bit about the basic anatomy of the digestive system. After going through your small intestine, the food has to first ascend into the colon, then move through the transverse colon and finally, the descending colon. Hanging upside down and other inversion exercises help you move food through the ascending colon with the help of gravity. In addition, inversion exercises also promote strong peristaltic contractions in your alimentary canal that helps food pass through it.

· It improves your chances of becoming taller.

For all you short people out there, this is your chance! Inversion can actually increase your height permanently, of course, not a few feet, just an inch or two. But it’s definitely worth trying!

Some inversion exercises to do

Now that we’ve discussed the health benefits of inversion exercises, we should focus on how to do these exercises. There are many ways to do inversion exercises, the easiest of which is using an inversion table. Other ways to perform inversion exercises include headstands, handstands and other such exercises. However, do not perform these exercises without the supervision of an experienced trainer or instructor as doing them the wrong way could harm your body. My video demonstrates the steps to go into a headstand. For beginners, I recommend first trying this near a wall and/or have a partner or friend spot you throughout the pose.

Contraindications

Inversions should not be tried by people who have a history of high blood pressure, are obese or have an eye condition called glaucoma.

Happy inverting!

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