Defeating the Demons through Your Inversion Practice
“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
I rarely meet an inversion neutral yogi – most students are either inversion addicts or avoid them at all costs.
When I announced at the beginning of the month that April was inversion month for all my classes, the look on people’s faces ranged from questionable dread to excitement and delight.
The fear that comes up around going upside down is totally understandable; afterall, we walk on our feet, not our hands. But the sense of accomplishment and determination I see in students who face their fears and find their balance upside down for the first time is one of my favorite moments to witness.
This is a sacred moment not because you just did a sick instagram-worthy asana, but because you just did something incredibly heroic. You faced down your fear and expanded your perceived and self-imposed limitations of what you thought was possible and attainable. Your world got a tiny bit bigger when you broke down this barrier. And for better or worse, it is human nature, once you attain one thing, more often than not, you will want to move on to the next. Can you balance upside down for a second? Ten seconds? One minute? Invert in the middle of the room? Can you float around up there with leg variations? Can you levitate? ;-)
With each new step you take on your mat, you expand your mind, find your strength, and stretch your body. And of course, this takes practice and coming back to it and lots of hard work and sweat.
… But this is why the yoga practice is so powerful and starts to trickle off the mat and flow into your life.
Have you noticed once you and your fear of inverting have a show down, maybe it’s a tad easier to deal with a situation in your life that you have been dreading? When you find the balance and a calm state of mind upside down, do you think you may be able to remain a bit calmer in situations that before made you very uncomfortable? Are you able to see things from more than one perspective after spending time on your mat?
You might not know the answers to these questions or see the correlation between your mat, inversions, and your life at the moment. But I promise you if you keep showing up and doing the work, your yoga will start showing up at the most handy of places at the most challenging of moments, and you might be surprised that you know exactly what to do: yoga.
Tips for inverting and life: Face the situation, remain calm, prepare to take flight and aim for balance.
If you are new to inverting and feel inspired to give it a go after reading, watch the video below. You will need 4 blocks and a spotter (preferably).
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