A Celebrity Yoga Trainer’s Guide To Inversions
Feeling a little stuck in your yoga practice lately? Shake things up with this guide to inversions. Face the fear of falling by learning how to do a headstand or Shirshasana. Also, read on to master the crow pose or Bakasana.
Rupal Sidhpura Faria, a celebrity fitness trainer, has helped stars like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Riteish Deshmukh, and Surveen Chawla stay in shape and tap into their inner yogi. When things get boring, she injects fun back into fitness with a healthy dose of competition and perhaps a lesson on embracing your fears.
“I love challenges and when it comes to fitness, I never choose easy. So my signature pose is Bakasana to Shirshasana. It’s one of my favourite ones because it’s challenging every time you do it,” says Rupal. Keep in mind, though, that inversions have to be gradually incorporated into your yoga practice. Do not rush into a posture that requires inversion because you are going upside down where the weight of your body is taken by the head and the hands. The risk of injury is high if you are not careful.
Benefits of Inversions in Yoga
- Inversions significantly improve blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain resulting in improved mental function.
- Inversions bring in mind-body awareness, increase stamina and core strength. The ability to hold your body against gravity improves endurance, flexibility and upper body muscle strength.
- Inversions can be great for digestion. They promote movement from your small intestine to the colon while also exerting pressure on the walls of your digestive tract.
- They can boost your immune system. Inversions promote lymphatic drainage by activating your lymphatic system which helps get rid of toxins from the body.
- Practicing inversions can improve focus. You learn to overcome challenges such as fear of falling. The confidence that comes with an inversion, brings a strong sense of calm and aids the central nervous system in balancing our fight or flight response.
How to do a Shirshasana
1. Place a cushion in front of you while sitting on your haunches.
2. Slowly place your palms on the floor and lift your knees off the ground.
3. Balance your body in that position and then slowly tilt your head onto the cushion.
4. Now lift your body upwards while balancing on your hands and head.
5. Hold the position for a few seconds and then bring your legs back down.
How to do a Bakasana
1. Squat down and place your palms shoulder-width apart, fingers wide
2. Bend your elbows as you come off onto the balls of your feet
3. Rest your knees on the back of your upper arms
4. Tilt your weight forward, gaze ahead as you tiptoe off the floor to balance
5. To transition from Shirshasana to Bakasana bring your legs back down, fold your knees
6. Hold the position for a few seconds while still resting on your palms
7. Slowly, lower your body down
Expert tip: Pull your shoulders away from your ears in your inversions.