Sunday, April 03, 2005

Get Upside-Down, Give Your Heart a Break, & Boost Immunity Too

Adults don't go upside down. Never. (Ever notice? Kids do it all the time.)

But when I teach yoga, I want my students to be upside-down. So I teach them. I show them how to get there. I spot them and work with them so they can confidently experience inverted poses.

Why? For many reasons.

I just gave a group of students yesterday a bunch of reasons why they should be upside-down. By the way, I believe you should practice being upside down daily (or nearly daily).

Inverting gives your heart a break! The baro-receptors (pressure receptors) of your cardiovascular system are located in the blood vessels on each side of your neck. When you invert, the pressure measured there increases. The increased pressure triggers a signal to the heart to stop working so hard!

Since blood easily flows to the brain when your head is down, the heart doesn't need to create so much pressure--blood pressure that is. It can relax! can give your heart a break by being upside down. Or just position yourself so you head is lower than your heart.

Having your head lower than your heart is a widely accepted definition of being inverted.

That means you can bend over to pick your socks up off the floor and that counts as an inversion. While you're doing it, why not pause for several breaths and let the benefits of inversion accrue to you?

[Hey reader: This does not constitute medical advice. You want that? Ask your Doc. I'm not a Doc. As you know, everyone beginning a new exercise program should consult with his or her medical professional.]

Here's an added benefit I forgot to mention to my students yesterday: the drainage port between the lymphatic system and the cardiovascular system (in this instance, the veins) is also located near the neck. When you invert for a period of time (maybe 6 or 8 minutes) those ports open up and the easily congested lymph system drains. That benefits your immune system and helps you fight disease.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., There are many other benefits you can get from being upside down. One of them is confusion. How can you benefit from confusion? Check back here. I'll tell you more tomorrow.

p.p.s., My Saturday morning students at alleyCat yoga in Columbia, MO (10:00 to 11:30 am) not only heard about the benefits of inversions, they practiced them. That includes adho mukha vrksasana, aka handstands. Check out the classes at alleyCat Yoga.

p.p.p.s., Do your wrists hurt from too many hand stands? Or too much blogging? You can be wrist pain free in four weeks when you practice the exercises I teach in a special report at

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.
Kevin Perry
Mo Yoga LLC
1305 Elmerine Ave
Jefferson City, MO 65101

(573) 680-6737


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