FTT #10: So you wanna go upside down?

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We’ve all been in yoga when they go ‘and if it’s in your practice…you may invert…’ I don’t know about you, but before it was ‘in my practice,’ that suggestion was like one big slap in the face. Going upside down is a big goal for yogis, and trust me, when you finally do, you’ll see why it’s worth working for. There are few feelings I love more than hanging out upside down. The rush of blood to the head can cure any rough day, or prep you for a great one.

To just slowly fly up into a graceful headstand and chill out for a hot second is a lot easier said than done. These strength prepping poses are how I eventually got there. I did them every day for around two months. Do each of these a few minutes a day, and you’ll be in Adho Mukha Vrksasana before you can learn how to spell it.

Downward Facing Dog — yes, yes, I know, this is an ‘easy’ staple. But, if you hang out in downward dog for a few minutes, you’ll really feel it building strength in your shoulders, and that strength is super necessary for handstands. To increase the benefits, try floating from downward dog to forward fold and back to plank. Going through that cycle over and over is great for shoulder and core strength.

downward dog.jpg

Boat Pose — inversions are mostly about core strength, boat is a killer core tightener. Make sure your shoulders are down and back, and that your back is as straight as possible.

boat pose.jpg

Crow — The first arm balance I learned was crow. It’s the perfect balance to start with to build up to inversions. If you can’t immediately do it, keep trying. You’ll start off balancing for just a moment, then build up to a true, calm balance.


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  • Skinny Opinion

    Still working on mastering Crow Pose!

  • cherylann

    I can do head, hand and forearm stands (latter two with wall assistance) but for the life of me I cannot do crow pose!

    • http://www.theskinnyonhealth.com/ Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

      That’s so interesting! Maybe it depends on where your strength is? xo

      • cherylann

        No it’s all about not wanting to fall on my face…I have strong arms, shoulders and core…or I wouldn’t be able to do the other poses then, would I?

        • http://www.theskinnyonhealth.com/ Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

          That’s true. I was referring to maybe a smaller muscle that contributes to one but not the other. That’s so interesting! I was always afraid to do head/handstands because I was scared to fall on my face, but I’m not scared of crow! haha how funny!

          • cherylann

            maybe gymnastics in past has something to do with liking being completely inverted…

          • http://www.theskinnyonhealth.com/ Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

            That’s probably it!

  • Nicole

    Thanks for hosting the party! I love all of these yoga moves and practiced each one this morning! :)

  • heatherbquinn

    Thanks for sharing these tips - I recently picked yoga back up after 6 years of quitting after being intimidated by the skinny-minnies at the college gym. Now I’m loving it!

  • http://nourishbymelissa.com/ Melissa @ nourishbymelissa.com

    Love this! I’ve been working quite awhile on getting those upside poses “into my practice” haha.

  • Cassie Vaughn

    I still struggle with crow, but I love flipping upside down even though sometimes I fall over. It’s so much fun!

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  • Andrea @ mommy got fit

    Great tips! I keep saying I need to do more yoga!

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