How to Become Strong Enough for Inversion Yoga

Yoga inversion includes any pose where the heart is below the waist. While often most picture Handstands and Headstands, there are many more, such as: 

  1. Crane
  2. Shoulder Stand
  3. Downward Dog
  4. And even Forward Fold.

In order to become strong enough within the core, arms, and shoulders, some poses can significantly help you in achieving your ultimate inversion goal. For the best results, it is essential to practice these poses about three times per week with the purpose of being able to hold a pose for at least one minute before you are ready to move onto the more challenging, desired pose. 

Some of these are traditional yoga asanas (poses) while others are exercises that will work with you to help strengthen your core and your upper body. Let’s take a deeper look.

  • Standing Arms Overhead

Since this pose is essentially what you will look like in a handstand, only in reverse, it is a safe way to practice by externally rotating your arms over your head. Your core is still engaged as it will need to be in an inversion pose; you’re learning about shoulder flexion (what it is to lift the arm out in front of the body and up overhead).

  • Side Plank

You need to have strong arms and shoulder muscles to properly perform many upside-down poses, as well as strong wrists. When you are in the position of a side plank, your bottom shoulder is externally rotated, and you are gaging the amount of weight it can hold before you try lifting your entire body. 

  • Chair Pose

Similar to standing arms overhead, this pose engages the core. Similarly, it has the arms overhead to create the same movement you will want when you are in a Handstand Pose. It provides gentle engagement of the shoulders, but without the pressure of the entire body weight pushing down on them. 

  • Half Boat Pose And Full Boat Pose

Lying on your back and pulling your core, legs, and arms into a Half Boat pose is a great way to strengthen your entire body. Once you can handle a Half Boat, you can then move onto a Full Boat where your legs are outstretched as are your arms. 

  • Leg Lifts

This exercise is important since the ability to be able to kick up our legs in order to reach Handstand Pose is an important task to achieve. This move strengthens both your core and your hip flexors. 

  • Dolphin Pose

It is a great pose to strengthen your forearms, your shoulders and to engage your core. For those who want to try forearm inversions, this is the pose you need to feel comfortable with before you attempt a more advanced pose. 

It is also a great pose since it can teach you the correct distance that your forearms need to be from one another for correct balance. Place your arms down and reach across to take hold at where they bend to gauge the distance you require for this pose properly. 

You will want to hold this pose for a minute, then relax in child’s pose. Once you have gained some confidence, you can lift up one leg at a time – the next step in learning how to kick up for your inversion challenge. 

The Goal

Now that you have worked your way through these poses and you have built up enough strength, you may feel confident to attempt your goal inversion pose. Remember that stacking the body parts is key in performing a lot of inversion poses properly; so practicing the previous poses also helps in teaching you how to learn this important rule. 

Keep at it, practice regularly, and you will soon find your view on inversions a whole lot different than before, upside-down and proud. 

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