Did you know that inversions are a great way to boost your mood!? Whether you need some positive energy first thing in the morning or mid-afternoon when that 3pm slump starts to kick in, we’ve got a few postures that may help you out…because we’re all about MORE STRETCHING and LESS STRESSING!
Before we dive too deep into the why and how, we want you to check in with yourself. How are you feeling in this current moment? (collective exhales!) Put these feelings on hold for a moment, whatever else is going on in your mind and your life right now can wait, the next 10 minutes are for you.
So what exactly is an inversion? To invert simply means to do the opposite, or in this case turning oneself up-side down. The suggested gentle movements below will help alter and increase the blood flow to the chest and head region. When your heart is higher than your head, the increased blood flow refreshes the cells in your brain, releasing endorphins and neurotransmitters that have a positive effect on your emotions. Hello feel good sensations! As well as pumping more oxygenated blood back into your brain, inversions ensure that the glands responsible for controlling hormone balance (pituitary, pineal, thyroid, adrenal glands) receive proper blood supply so they can function effectively and efficiently. Better yet, these movements can be done anywhere, anytime.
Feeling sluggish, stressed or low on energy? Grab your NH fitness mats and let’s do this gang!
This is a really good one to start with. It’ll help warm up the muscles and circulate the blood. Practise a simple downward dog movement (think of yourself as an upside down V) for a minute or two and peddle out your feet. Plus, it's a great way to strengthen your arms, shoulders, upper back and core.
Standing/sitting forward fold
A gentle inversion. If you’re at the office, why not try folding forward in your chair. A great posture to help release and decompress the spine and neck, and allow the blood to slowly make its way back to your brain. If you’ve got the space, stand up and dangle down, relaxing your upper body, slightly bending your knees so you can rest your chest on your thighs. Hold this pose for a few minutes and slowly roll up to avoid feeling dizzy.
Legs up the wall
This one is perfect and feels so good after a long day sitting down or on your feet. A great way to drain the blood from your legs and help settle into a complete state of relaxation. If you’re ever feeling anxious during the day, give this posture a go. Either lie on the ground or your bed, with your butt against the wall (as close as you can get it) and extend your legs to the ceiling. Bring some mindfulness into this moment, breathing deep and slowly, ideally holding this pose for at least 5 minutes, but if you have time you’re welcome to hold it for 10 – 15 minutes.
As the name suggests, babies love doing this posture. It’s a movement they naturally learn to do. Lay on your back and bend your legs towards your chest, then point your feet to the ceiling (kind of like a squat, laying on the ground). It provides a great stretch for the inner groin and lower back, while reversing the flow blood so you can get all the benefits of an inversion. With time, this posture does become easier, plus helps calm the mind and relieve stress.
We hope these 4 simple inversions help gang! Remember to take time for yourself, a simple 5 – 10 minute break to move and stretch. Your body…and mind will thank you later.