There is so much more to inversions, especially when practiced safely in Shakti aerial yoga classes.
I came across this very old video of world renowned yogi Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCqgd85oOwc) . He was explaining the importance of inversions and how it benefits the activities of the brain. I can vouch for the benefits of inversion on a personal level. Dr. Karen Koffler, medical director of Canyon Ranch Miami and formerly director of Integrative Medicine at Evanston Northwestern Hospital, explains the benefits of these inversions for the brain:
“Inverted positions that are assumed in yoga alter the blood flow (including lymphatic drainage) and flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). If there is increased blood flow to the area, there will be increased bioavailability of oxygen and glucose—the two most important metabolic substrates for the brain. It follows then that cells bathed in a solution that is rich in factors required for the creation of neurotransmitters (like norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin) will be better able to produce these chemicals.”
I on the other hand have always felt that it is the emotional and psychological journey that makes inversion practice so valuable and enriching. In fact, it is not uncommon to feel immediately uplifted after an inversion. If you listen to the explanation of inversions and how it affects the different sections of the mind the feeling of “uplifted” would make sense.
Psychologically, inversions can break down some personal barriers. If you have taken classes with me I often explain how we prison ourselves in fear, and how practicing Aerial Yoga takes you into a deeper journey within, Inversion is one of those activities that makes you more aware of your fears. When we approach this type of practice we realize that it is consistent mindful dedication without ambition, letting go of all that is holding you back, and an open, welcoming attitude toward the teacher and assistance that is the secret to a successful inversion pose. Inversions can also help develop patience, focus, and listening skills. I often cue closing our eyes when in an aerial inversion, to help with focusing and connecting deeper with yourself and your body. Closure of eyes I believe shuts out the visual impossibilities and boundaries, our mind enters the body awareness more acutely. And slowly as the awareness of body increases, a level of trust and confidence builds in, and that
strength is NOT limited just to aerial inversions, something deeper inside unlocks and your journey within begins.
Shakti Aerial Yogis are often surprised by how much they can achieve and uncover about themselves, impossible seems more attainable, and a new sense of accomplishment, pride in the capabilities of their mind and body increases, and self confidence grows. Inversion practice in aerial hammocks fully supported are magical on every plane.
What do inversions do on the Physical Plane:
Improves circulation of blood by reversing the Flow
Work smarter, not harder! Use gravity to provide the brain with more oxygen and blood, thus improving mental function, including concentration, memory and processing abilities. Inversions in Aerial Hammocks take away the stress from your body and assist in holding inversions for longer.
The lymphatic system is a key player in keeping the body healthy. As lymph moves through the body it picks up toxins and bacteria to be eliminated by the lymph nodes. Because lymph moves as a result of muscle contractions and gravity, getting upside-down allows lymph to more easily travel into the respiratory system, where many of the toxins enter the body. Aerial silk provides binds at key points in the body, places where the fluid builds up also on places where we hold our tensions and stresses. The binds help release Lymphatic fluid.
Energized and Relaxed
Different inversions with the assistance of the hammock can have different effects. Heating inversions energize and cooling inversion relax mind body and soul.
Improves Balance and core strength
It is not just about getting legs up in the air, it is about engaging the core to find the balance and hold it.
Inversions Build confidence
When our students achieve their first inversion they know they conquered their fear, their obstacle and that does wonders for their confidence.
Gain a new perspective, world is different when hanging upside down. Physically and Metaphorically it teaches us that there is always a different perspective to look at things/situations/persons/problems