Inversions


YOGA VIDA
Posture Center

SHOULDER STAND

English/Sanskrit Shoulder Stand, Salamba Sarvangasana

Level Flow

Alignment From lying on back, press palms down in line with hips. Bend knees and swing legs overhead until toes touch floor. If toes don’t touch floor, keep hands bracing back and relax knees to forehead. If toes are on the floor, interlace fingers behind back and pull shoulder blades under you. Take hands to either side of spine with the fingers facing up. Lift one leg at a time to align ankles over knees, knees over hips, and hips over shoulders. Draw elbows closer together and walk hands further up back, closer to neck. Press entire front side of body forward, and lift through inseams of thighs.

Modifications To protect the cervical spine and create more space in your neck, take 1­‐2 stacked rectangle shaped blankets about 3 quarters of the way down the mat. Face the fringes toward your feet, and see that the blankets are smooth. Flip top portion of the mat over the blankets, and lie down on mat with shoulders ½ inch below rounded edge of mat. Take shoulder stand as instructed in alignment.

For tight shoulders, strap a belt an inch above your elbows to keep the chest open.

For a more basic version of shoulder stand, take your legs up the wall, flex your feet, and place a block or folded blanket under your sacrum.

Do not perform if menstruating or experiencing serious neck injuries, glaucoma, or high blood pressure.

Benefits Tones the gluteus, back, thighs, and abdominals. Balances the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Increases circulation around lymphatic system. Increases the venous flow to the heart, brain, and eyes. Strengthens the heart, and lengthens the spinal nerves. Helps breathing problems, regulates hormone secretion from thyroid and parathyroid glands, soothes the nervous system, and helps insomnia. Increases metabolism, relieves anxiety and develops feminine energy.
Posture Center

PLOW POSE

English/Sanskrit Plow Pose, Halasana

Level Flow

Alignment From lying on your back, swing your legs overhead until toes touch the floor. Interlace fingers behind your back and extend your arms. Keep the legs engaged with your hips over your shoulders, and reach through your heels.

Modifications If toes do not touch the floor behind your head, rest knees on your forehead and keep your hands on your back.

If toes do not touch the floor and spine is rounding, place a block under toes to raise the floor.

For tight shoulders, strap a belt an inch above your elbows to keep the chest open.

Do not perform if experiencing serious neck injuries, high blood pressure or glaucoma.

Benefits Strengthens back muscles and stretches calves, thighs, shoulders and spine. Stimulates abdominal organs, thyroid and parathyroid glands. Therapeutic for symptoms of menopause, insomnia, and infertility. Relieves stress.
Posture Center

PLOW POSE VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Plow Pose Variation, Halasana

Level Flow

Alignment From lying on your back, swing your legs overhead until toes touch the floor. Interlace fingers behind your back and extend your arms. Keep the legs engaged with your hips over your shoulders, and reach through your heels.

Modifications If toes do not touch the floor behind your head, rest knees on your forehead and keep your hands on your back, as shown here.

If toes do not touch the floor and spine is rounding, place a block under toes to raise the floor.

For tight shoulders, strap a belt an inch above your elbows to keep the chest open.

Do not perform if experiencing serious neck injuries, high blood pressure or glaucoma.

Benefits Strengthens back muscles and stretches calves, thighs, shoulders and spine. Stimulates abdominal organs, thyroid and parathyroid glands. Therapeutic for symptoms of menopause, insomnia, and infertility. Relieves stress.
Posture Center

FISH POSE

English/Sanskrit Fish Pose, Matsyasana

Level Flow

Alignment From lying on back, point toes and move elbows in close to side ribs. Press arms down, lift chest and arch back placing the crown of your head on the floor. Keep weight in the crown of your head. Walk elbows down a bit to keep space in neck and lift chest further. Stretch throat and squeeze inner thighs together.

Modifications For extra support place a block on the lowest or middle setting under your back in between the shoulder blades.

For a fully supported variation rest in Supta Baddha Konasana with a block in between the shoulder blades on the setting that is comfortable to you. Place a folded blanket on top of the block for extra support. Take a second block on the lowest or middle setting under your head. Bend knees into chest and release them out to sides.

Do not perform if experiencing serious neck injuries.

Benefits Stretches hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. Cleans knees and improves circulation. Builds discipline. Excellent for meditation.
Posture Center

TRIPOD HEADSTAND

English Tripod Headstand, Sirsasana 2

Level Flow

Alignment Come onto knees and place the crown of your head down on mat. Walk your hands back so you can see them, with your fingers facing your head. Align wrists under elbows, and keep elbows parallel and drawn in toward your body. Lift your knees off the floor, and walk forward until your hips are over your shoulders. Balance your knees on your elbows as you press down through your hands firmly and begin to lift knees up. Extend legs, flex feet and squeeze inner thighs together.

Modifications If head is sensitive, place unfolded blanket under head for extra cushion.

For more stability keep your knees on your elbows and work on balance.

For a half Tripod Headstand, keep your feet on the floor with straight legs like Downward Facing Dog. Keep your head and arms in Tripod Headstand position.

Do not perform if experiencing high blood pressure, menstruation, or serious neck injuries.

Benefits Balances the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Strengthens the heart, tones the body and builds core muscles. Improves balance and helps with headaches.
Posture Center

TRIPOD HEADSTAND PREP

English/Sanskrit Tripod Headstand Prep, Sirsasana 2

Level Flow

Alignment Come onto knees and place the crown of your head down on mat. Walk your hands back so you can see them, with your fingers facing your head. Align wrists under elbows, and keep elbows parallel and drawn in toward your body. Lift your knees off the floor, and walk forward until your hips are over your shoulders. Balance your knees on your elbows as you press down through your hands firmly and begin to lift knees up. Extend legs, flex feet and squeeze inner thighs together.

Modifications If head is sensitive, place unfolded blanket under head for extra cushion.

For more stability keep your knees on your elbows and work on balance, as shown here.

For a half Tripod Headstand, keep your feet on the floor with straight legs like Downward Facing Dog. Keep your head and arms in Tripod Headstand position.

Do not perform if experiencing high blood pressure, menstruation, or serious neck injuries.

Benefits Balances the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Strengthens the heart, tones the body and builds core muscles. Improves balance and helps with headaches.
Posture Center

TRIPOD HEADSTAND PREP

English/Sanskrit Tripod Headstand Prep, Sirsasana 2

Level Flow

Alignment Come onto knees and place the crown of your head down on mat. Walk your hands back so you can see them, with your fingers facing your head. Align wrists under elbows, and keep elbows parallel and drawn in toward your body. Lift your knees off the floor, and walk forward until your hips are over your shoulders. Balance your knees on your elbows as you press down through your hands firmly and begin to lift knees up. Extend legs, flex feet and squeeze inner thighs together.

Modifications If head is sensitive, place unfolded blanket under head for extra cushion.

For more stability keep your knees on your elbows and work on balance, as shown here.

For a half Tripod Headstand, keep your feet on the floor with straight legs like Downward Facing Dog. Keep your head and arms in Tripod Headstand position.

Do not perform if experiencing high blood pressure, menstruation, or serious neck injuries.

Benefits Balances the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Strengthens the heart, tones the body and builds core muscles. Improves balance and helps with headaches.
Posture Center

HEADSTAND

English/Sanskrit Head Stand, Salamba Sirsasana

Level Flow

Alignment Come to your knees and lower your elbows to the floor under your shoulders. Interlace fingers into a fist, and keep wrists touching. Place your head to the floor, on your hairline or back about 1 or 2 inches. Tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor, extending your legs. Press into your forearms and lift the shoulders away from the ears. Once your hips are over your shoulders, bend your knees into your chest one at a time. Press into your forearms and lift your knees up to the ceiling. Lengthen hip flexors, and extend your legs all the way up. Flex through the balls of your feet.

Modifications If you are new to the Headstand practice, take Half Headstand. Keep feet on the floor and work on building strength as you lift your shoulders away from your ears and keep your hips over your shoulders.

If you’ve been holding half Headstand for a while and are ready to move further, practice bending one knee into your chest at a time.

If you are ready to begin balancing, tip both knees up to the ceiling and work on extending legs.

For added support in the neck, place an unfolded blanket over your forearms. Keep some slack in the blanket so your head can press all the way down.

Benefits Develops core muscles, and strengthens the spine, arms, neck, and shoulders. Balances the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Combats aging. Oxygenates and increases nutrients to face and scalp. Stimulates the pituitary, pineal and hypothalamus glands, which regulate all glands of the body. Decreases depression, helps headaches, improves circulation, and cleanses the intestines. Diminishes fear, and expands awareness and perspective.
Posture Center

HEADSTAND PREP

English Head Stand, Salamba Sirsasana

Level Flow

Alignment Come to your knees and lower your elbows to the floor under your shoulders. Interlace fingers into a fist, and keep wrists touching. Place your head to the floor, on your hairline or back about 1 or 2 inches. Tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor, extending your legs. Press into your forearms and lift the shoulders away from the ears. Once your hips are over your shoulders, bend your knees into your chest one at a time. Press into your forearms and lift your knees up to the ceiling. Lengthen hip flexors, and extend your legs all the way up. Flex through the balls of your feet.

Modifications If you are new to the Headstand practice, take Half Headstand. Keep feet on the floor and work on building strength as you lift your shoulders away from your ears, and keep your hips over your shoulders, as shown here.

If you’ve been holding half Headstand for a while and are ready to move further, practice bending one knee into your chest at a time.

If you are ready to begin balancing, tip both knees up to the ceiling and work on extending legs.

For added support in the neck, place an unfolded blanket over your forearms. Keep some slack in the blanket so your head can press all the way down.

Benefits Develops core muscles, and strengthens the spine, arms, neck, and shoulders. Balances the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Combats aging. Oxygenates and increases nutrients to face and scalp. Stimulates the pituitary, pineal and hypothalamus glands, which regulate all glands of the body. Decreases depression, helps headaches, improves circulation, and cleanses the intestines. Diminishes fear, and expands awareness and perspective.
Posture Center

HEADSTAND PREP

English Head Stand Prep, Salamba Sirsasana

Level Flow

Alignment Come to your knees and lower your elbows to the floor under your shoulders. Interlace fingers into a fist, and keep wrists touching. Place your head to the floor, on your hairline or back about 1 or 2 inches. Tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor, extending your legs. Press into your forearms and lift the shoulders away from the ears. Once your hips are over your shoulders, bend your knees into your chest one at a time. Press into your forearms and lift your knees up to the ceiling. Lengthen hip flexors, and extend your legs all the way up. Flex through the balls of your feet. Modifications If you are new to the Headstand practice, take Half Headstand. Keep feet on the floor and work on building strength as you lift your shoulders away from your ears and keep your hips over your shoulders.

If you’ve been holding half Headstand for a while and are ready to move further, practice bending one knee into your chest at a time, as shown here.

If you are ready to begin balancing, tip both knees up to the ceiling and work on extending legs.

For added support in the neck, place an unfolded blanket over your forearms. Keep some slack in the blanket so your head can press all the way down.

Benefits Develops core muscles, and strengthens the spine, arms, neck, and shoulders. Balances the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Combats aging. Oxygenates and increases nutrients to face and scalp. Stimulates the pituitary, pineal and hypothalamus glands, which regulate all glands of the body. Decreases depression, helps headaches, improves circulation, and cleanses the intestines. Diminishes fear, and expands awareness and perspective.
Posture Center

HEADSTAND PREP

English/Sanskrit Head Stand Prep, Salamba Sirsasana

Level Flow

Alignment Come to your knees and lower your elbows to the floor under your shoulders. Interlace fingers into a fist, and keep wrists touching. Place your head to the floor, on your hairline or back about 1 or 2 inches. Tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor, extending your legs. Press into your forearms and lift the shoulders away from the ears. Once your hips are over your shoulders, bend your knees into your chest one at a time. Press into your forearms and lift your knees up to the ceiling. Lengthen hip flexors, and extend your legs all the way up. Flex through the balls of your feet. Modifications If you are new to the Headstand practice, take Half Headstand. Keep feet on the floor and work on building strength as you lift your shoulders away from your ears and keep your hips over your shoulders.

If you’ve been holding half Headstand for a while and are ready to move further, practice bending one knee into your chest at a time, as shown here.

If you are ready to begin balancing, tip both knees up to the ceiling and work on extending legs.

For added support in the neck, place an unfolded blanket over your forearms. Keep some slack in the blanket so your head can press all the way down.

Benefits Develops core muscles, and strengthens the spine, arms, neck, and shoulders. Balances the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine systems. Combats aging. Oxygenates and increases nutrients to face and scalp. Stimulates the pituitary, pineal and hypothalamus glands, which regulate all glands of the body. Decreases depression, helps headaches, improves circulation, and cleanses the intestines. Diminishes fear, and expands awareness and perspective.
Posture Center

FOREARM STAND

English/Sanskrit Forearm Stand/Peacock Feather Pose, Pincha Mayurasana

Level Advanced

Alignment From Downward Facing Dog, lower your elbows to the floor. Keep your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms parallel to each other. Press palms down, and feel the weight in your fingertips. Walk your feet in until your hips are over your shoulders. Look forward and lift one leg straight up. Bend the other knee. Touch the toes of your straight leg down to the floor, and use momentum to lift both legs up. Keep one knee bent until you find your center of gravity. Then extend both legs, and lift through your inner thighs. Lift your shoulders away from your ears. Modifications For more stability with arm positioning, place a block on the lowest setting horizontally on your mat. Hook your thumbs around the bottom edge of the block with your other 4 fingers straight along the sides of the block. Keep knuckles down, and press your index fingers into the sides of the block. Continue to take the steps for Forearm Stand as shown in alignment.

If your elbows keep slipping out to the sides or if your neck is tight, strap a belt an inch above your elbows to keep your elbows in line with your shoulders. Continue to take steps for Forearm Stand as shown in alignment.

Benefits Strengthens arms and shoulders. Improves circulation, stimulates master glands, and develops balance and awareness.
Posture Center

HANDSTAND

English/Sanskrit Handstand/Downward Facing Tree, Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Level Advanced

Alignment From Downward Facing Dog, come onto the tips of your toes, and walk forward about a foot until your shoulders are over your wrists. Keep your arms strong and engaged. Lift the arches of your hands, and press your fingertips down. Pull your lower belly in and lift one leg up high, feeling the weight centered in your hands. Bend other knee and touch the toes of your extended leg down. Take light hops leaning into your finger tips, keeping one leg bent and one leg extended. When you find your center of gravity, extend both legs, squeeze your inner thighs together, and look forward. Use the weight of the head to counter the weight of the hips.

Modifications To work on strengthening your arms and finding your balance, try this at a wall. Position your hands about a foot a way from the wall, and take light hops. Find the wall with your feet and stay for 15 breaths, lifting out of wrists, and squeezing thighs up.

If elbows are bending as you take hops into Handstand, strap a belt an inch above your elbows so the arms stay extended.

Benefits Strengthens arms and shoulders. Improves circulation, stimulates master glands, and develops balance and awareness.