Struggling with Inversions

Practicing inversions. There are so many options to invert, anything from downward dog, legs up the wall to handstands. An inversion in yoga is simply when your head is below your heart and hips. Inverting your body’s natural upright posture. Because this causes blood to go towards your head people with glaucoma, high blood pressure, or other circulatory issues should speak to a doctor before jumping into being upside down.

Shortly after I moved to NYC I had emergency abdominal surgery. I was the fittest I’d ever been, ran 6 miles a day and practiced yoga. The doctors said I’d be back to it all in 2 weeks, easy. It actually took me years, about 5 or 6 years. I couldn’t do inversions because I didn’t have the abdominal strength to get my legs over my head, I could barely lift my work makeup kit in a car to get to work. There was no running without pain and my stamina was gone. I’d work with personal trainers and always get injured from being pushed too hard and their lack of understanding that not everyone’s body works the same. I remember leaving yoga classes feeling humiliated because the super young and fit instructor didn’t understand why I couldn’t invert and didn’t give me any pose alternatives. This eventually let to weight gain, I was seriously discouraged, self esteem tanked as I struggled to understand how to exist in this new body that didn’t seem to work right. It’s a downward spiral, you know how these things go.

I finally took my health and fitness into my own hands, educated myself, then hit the gym and got back into yoga, got in tune with my body through asana, and decided to get certified as a yoga teacher. Since my certification I’ve been working on further education with a focus on mobility and anatomy. Its all a journey. These shoulder stands may not look impressive but every time I do one I remember when I couldn’t and how far I’ve come since then.

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