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Can Inversions Make You Younger?

So Firstly, What is Considered an Inversion?

An inversion is any asana/pose where you head is lower than your heart and hips, thus reversing the flow/energy in the body. Here are just a few examples of partial and full inversions:

  • Parivrtta Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog

  • Uttanasana - Standing Forward Fold

  • Chulukyasana - Dolphin Pose

  • Sirsasana - Head Stand

  • Urdhva Dhanurasana - Wheel Pose

How do inversions help us to stay youthful?

Inversions increase blood flow to the upper body. The brain, face, heart & lungs all benefit from an increase in circulation of oxygen and nutrients. We also improve our lymphatic drainage which helps to clear away toxins and stagnant energy.

With this comes, better brain function and focus. More happy endorphins are released, improving our mood and energy levels which in itself can help us feel more youthful.

Increased blood flow to the face can give our skin a more fresh & youthful appearance. Improved circulation brings more nutrients and oxygen thus encouraging new cell growth and helping our skin stay hydrated. And, good hydration in the skin means less wrinkles!

Inverting gives us better blood circulation around the heart and lungs. Refreshing and the improving the flow of energy.

In normal every day life we tend to use only the top portion of the lungs to breathe, especially if we do not practice (Pranayama) breathwork regularly or if we experience a lot of stress. We would need to do a lot of running or cardio work in order to use more of the lungs full capacity. Therefore the bottom portion of the lungs tends to hold more stagnant energy and becomes dormant, lazy and stuck. When we invert we breath more deeply, expanding fully into lungs (especially with full inversions) this means our lungs are refreshed & re-energised. And the healthier the lungs, the better the quality of the breath. And the better the quality of breath, the better the quality of life!

When we focus on deep breathing during full inversions we are able connect into the diaphragm. The diaphragm rises and falls when we take full deep breaths. The vagus nerve runs through the diaphragm so therefore when it moves with the breath it stimulates the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is part of our parasympathetic nervous which signals our bodies and minds to switch from fight and flight to rest and digest. So inversions help us to release stress and to relax.

Inversions especially full inversions, tap into our inner child. That child that loved swinging out of trees or doing handstands in the school playground. That playful, curious and inquisitive part of ourselves. Thus when we do inversions we feel young again.

Inversions, create more length in the body, especially in the spine. By reversing gravity we open up more space in the joints and the vertebra. Allowing in fresh nutrients and oxygen into the those areas, flushing out the toxins and decreasing pressure on compressed discs. Regular inversions can improve back pain, hip pain & sciatica. And if we are in less pain, have more space in our joints, more lubrication in our joints we are going to move better and freer. If we move well, we feel and we look well!!!

Of course, there are some contra-indications to doing inversions which may mean that the increased blood flow may not be suitable for you. If you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, risk of stroke or glaucoma, have suffered a head or brain injury or if you suffer with vertigo. As with any exercise please ask your doctors advise if you are unsure before taking part.

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