Nope! Not talking about headstands today. Though, what I’m saying will apply to that as well. We’re talking about inversions today, more specifically beginner level inversions.
What are beginner level inversions? Legs up the wall pose for one. And yes that is a real thing. Lay on your back, legs up the wall, and scootch your rump as close to the wall as you can get.
Plow pose is another. And dolphin pose. Your head can even come below your heart in forward fold. But we’re still missing one big one.
Did you know that this pose was an inversion? I didn’t for a long time but when I realized it was, I tried something new. Which led to a million other new things. What am I talking about?
An upside-down perspective.
We’re guilty of pulling away from the fun stuff. It’s not easy to be silly especially if you’re alone of stuck in a grumpy routine. So when we’re in a position where we think we need to be stiff and serious, we do that. We don’t explore! We don’t have fun! We don’t play.
And that’s what an upside-down perspective is all about. Having fun!
So let’s look at down-ward facing dog.
Also known as: the bane of my existence.
I’m kidding but this pose has plagued me for a very long time. Yes, I realize that’s not a very yoga thing to say but I like to think that yoga is about being honest with ourselves. If that means a pose has bugged me, then that’s what it means. Maybe it’s because it’s making me look at a certain emotion or moment in my life. Maybe there’s some weird energy thing going on. Saying a pose has plagued me means that I need to keep working on it.
And so I did.
A little bit of background first. I used to do yoga with my mom and without fail every single time I did down-ward facing dog I would beat myself up in my head. I didn’t understand how to do it. I couldn’t figure out how to get my heels to the floor. I wasn’t very stretchy (I was a kid). I struggled.
One day, I got so fed up at looking at my feet that I looked past my feet and out one of the windows nearby. Then I realized, “woah! Everything is flipped!”
That small moment changed a lot for me. I didn’t really hate down dog all that much anymore. Sure, it still would prove to be very difficult but I didn’t hate it. Inside of it was this special flipped perspective that I already knew existed.
Did little me understand the idea of correct alignment? Absolutely not. That just means my head was all wacky. Nowadays, I know I can move my eyes without craning my entire neck.
But young me was onto something.
And that something was this:
It’s important to change things up.
Look at things with fresh eyes. Turn the world upside-down. Find fun in the challenge. I could go on and on. These are the ways we should be changing things up.
It’s not just “I do down dog every day, I should do something else”, it’s, “I do this a lot, how is today different?”
I won’t drag today’s article out that much, but I’ll emphasize this point. You don’t have to be advanced to be doing inversions and physically flipping your viewpoint around. You don’t have to balance on just your skull to be able to experience the benefits of a flipped perspective.
All you have to do is be playful, willing, and open to looking beyond the body and the form. There’s a whole big world out there…and it’s upside-down.