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Notebook nibbles – Inversions

sept 08 351I have lots of notebooks! they are filled with little reflections and ramblings that have found there way onto page post  practice, pre- teaching and  often post teaching.

The blog seems a perfect place to share these little practice and teaching nibbles.

Inversions, shoulder stands in particular are pacifying and restful, satisfying and internalizing. I personally love them but it hasn’t always been that way.

In order to enjoy them fully the body needs to be prepared, we need to develop particular pathways that open up our capacity to come on to the shoulders. Establishing how to use the hands and arms in relation to the upper body as well as been able to feel clearly into the lower back and pelvis and becoming more sensitive to the quality of the neck, eyes and face.

So getting comfortable up on the shoulders is not actually learnt in shoulder stand, the work begins in simple movements and  particular shapes that really give themselves to exploring the above  areas involved in shoulder stand. Repetition, listening  and feeling into the body being the key in the process leading to an experiential understanding of what actions need to be happening and how much etc.

 Inversions neither have to be saved for the end of your practice, that tends to give them only about 10 minutes of your practice time. I f you orientate your practice towards inversions from the very beginning with postures and movements that are awakening the hands and arms and releasing the shoulders and neck, then releasing and awakening the spine for example in seated rotations. You may feel comfortable to pop your first inversion in quiet soon, starting slowly  and gently with Ardha Pindasana and then coming down for a little more mobilizing of the spine and then popping back up again, perhaps this time feeling ready  to open up into Merulola and so on . Vinyasa krama( step by step layering and progression) is essential so that your are establishing stability and comfort as you go.

  We find that the hands, wrists and arms become strong pretty quick and upside down on the support of the shoulders we can explore soft opening back bends and gentle releasing forward folds without stressing the vulnerable joints.

This kind of inversion practice, an integrated inversion practice has a particular feel to it, like building a reservoir of nourishment from which we can draw a steady stream of subtle energy and our mind is supported by the very nature of inverting in an essence of inquiry and internalization.

Check the events page for the next inversion workshop!