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What is your yoga? #3

Written by Hillary R. Hoff

Part III: Inversions

Inversions tap into our inner child, enhance confidence, core strength, balance, and may provide a humbling aftereffect. The reverse blood flow improves circulation, alters our perspective, and inversions are a natural caffine-free form of invigorating and revitalizing the body. More blood flow always means more better! When moving upside down lymph moves more easily and travels into the respiratory system where much of the toxins enter the body, keeping the body healthy and cleaned up by lymph nodes. When our bodies stay in one upright position toxins get stuck and cause blockage creating fatigue, emotional imbalance, illness, disease, and so forth. Inversions can also create different temperature effects. Cooling inversions tap into our parasympathic system (i.e shoulder stand, happy baby) heating inversions enhance energy, increase immunity and prevent illnesses (i.e head and hand stand).

Inversions are not easy to incorporate in everyday life but this is why it makes them so much more challenging and special when you integrate them in your schedule. Rarely is there a similar action to going upside down or putting our feet above our heads and hearts. However, there are numerous ways to keep inversions alive in our lives! Setting an alarm on our phones to force us on a 2 minute break from what we are doing and put our feet up against the wall is probably one of the best 2 minutes we can commit to all day. Letting our tow nails dry while in shoulder stand (yes even for the dudes!) Or practicing to pick up something from the floor with our toes in halasana (far-fetched but possible!) We can also watch t.v commercials or previews before movies in reverse table top, everything is more focused upside down anyhow, right! Sometimes I simply bend backward while waiting for someone or passing time and let all the blood fall to the crown of my head. Every yoga pose has a different effect every time you practice it and whether you are physically practicing or not, the effect will never be identical. Our bodies are different every morning after we wake up and the layers of our self-tree will speak louder than others on different days. Therefore, it’s best to be true to yourself while practicing and pursuing mindfulness with every breath, intention and movement.

Is your yoga the idea of harmonizing this self-tree, maybe or maybe not. Maybe your yoga is the idea of an only a physical practice, strictly mental or the combination of both; or maybe not. Incorporating a balance, twist, or inversion in your everyday tasks may or may not be your yoga also. Forcing yourself to have a few refreshing moments before rushing out of bed in the morning or clearing your head with all the thoughts left from your day before falling asleep could or could not be your yoga. Which ever your yoga is, hopefully it involves the beauty of complete mindfulness in your space. Your bubble, your self-tree, your flow, your life; it’s all your playground. Good luck with your discovery and I hope you let the journey continue!

Photo: chantalehrhardt.com


Sophie Nusselder

My name is Sophie Nusselder. I started practicing and teaching yoga in 2008 and knew I started travelling a path that would change my life. Ever since my childhood I remember having a natural desire for physical movement. Born and raised on the Dutch countryside I loved to bike and hike in nature. The awareness of the breath in yoga made me connect with deeper layers. A fortification of magic in life!

To me yoga means aligning. Yoga and meditation are tools to remove that what blocks me and allow space – the space of pure presence. By constantly returning to this space I discover what truth is and what is not. It’s direct communication, which results in pure clarity, free feelings, liberation and creativity. I experience yoga as a feeding of my deepest yearning, it creates challenges to develop myself and it works as a support in my inner pursuits.

All points of view are welcome, even contradictory ones ? All we expect is that you put your point across in a civil manner.

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