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Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks

Advance your Basics III: Inversions

October 28, 2018

Did you know that the Downward Facing Dog is already an inversion in itself? Inversions are a lot more than just Headstands and Handstands — it's any pose where your head is positioned lower than your heart! But if you do wanna balance on your head, hands, or forearms, then we've got work to do...

In this final part of the Advance your Basics series, learn to work towards Wheel, as well as Headstand — the king of all yoga poses. Both are inversions that work different parts of the body: the Wheel pose is a backbend as well as an inversion, while the Headstand is your gateway to all other fancy inversions like Forearm Stand, Handstand, and all their funky variations. Once you've practiced your Splits and mastered the king of poses, it'll be easier to float into other inversions without kicking up. Get help with the use of blocks, wall, or a partner who can elevate or spot you in these poses!

If you want to get into Wheel pose...

Work with two to four blocks.

Lie on your back, with your heels close to your bum. Slide two blocks — stacked on top of each other — under your upper back. If your shoulders feel tight, put your other two blocks by the sides of your ears. Ground your palms by the sides of your ears on the mat or on your blocks, fingertips pointing towards you. Then, place the crown of your head onto the mat. Lift your hips off the floor, followed by your lower back, middle back and upper back. When you're ready, push into the mat or blocks and straighten both arms.

If you want to Headstand...

Work on your Dolphin Pose.

Start in Downward Dog, and lower your forearms onto the mat. Walk in as much as you can while keeping your back straight. Note that it's completely okay to bend the knees in this inversion — we're placing the focus on the shoulders pushing away from the mat, rather than straightening the legs. This pose will also help strengthen the shoulders when you are ready to level up to a Forearm Stand.

If you feel comfortable going upside down — and it's your first couple of times, work with a partner who can support you! Lower the crown (not forehead, crown!) of your head onto the mat and interlace your fingers around the back of your head. Walk your legs in so that your hips are stacked above your shoulders — you should feel the weight transfer onto your arms and shoulders. Bend one knee into the chest, then the other. Stay here, or try extending one leg up, followed by the other.

Now that you know how to progress in your practice, get in on our Back to Basics challenge — you've got three more days to hustle! Book a mat here.