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Inversions: When Upside Down Is the Right Way Up

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by Anneke Faas

If you’ve been practicing Iyengar Yoga for some time, you have started to become aware that we place a strong emphasis on the practice of inversions. In general, turning the body upside down boosts the major systems of the body (circulatory, respiratory, nervous, and glandular) and gives rest to the heart.

Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder balance) is the first inversion taught to beginners. Shoulderstand is the nurturing pose. It is cooling and quietening and a great aid to glandular and hormonal health. In this pose, the student can see their body upside down and a new relationship is created between the practitioner and their body.

Headstand is the more stimulating and invigorating pose. It helps to increase memory and concentration with added blood flow to the brain, and enhances mental capacity and emotional stability. The two poses together bring a balance to our body and mind. They are also said to bring out the truth of how we feel. They will give us a lift if we need to continue to work and are feeling flat, but if we are truly exhausted they will tell us to go to bed and rest.

I have mentioned time and time again that if someone is experiencing insomnia that they should practice Sirsasana and Sarvangasana before they go to bed—it works!

Come work with these inversions so we can answer your questions and address your needs specific to your neck and shoulders. The Iyengar family has bestowed on us numerous tools to aid our bodies and minds to experience the nourishing effects of inversions.

Want to learn more? Join Anneke for a special “step it up” workshop on inversions!

Working with the Neck and Shoulders in Inversions

April 23 at 12:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Register TODAY and save!
$30 early bird special if registered by April 13th

$40 Regular Price / 10% off regular price for Members

Anneke Faas is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor at the Intermediate Junior I level, CIYT-3000. She was inspired by the precision and genius of Mr. Iyengar’s teaching at the age of 14, and started her teacher training in 2002. Since then, Anneke has had two sons. She is especially drawn to working with mothers, helping to reduce the stress and tensions of everyday life. She has specialized training in pre-natal yoga. Visit her website at

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