Inversions terrify me.
Okay, that’s not completely true—I can rock sarvangasana (shoulderstand) like nobody’s business. Heck, I used to to practice sarvangasana tons when I I was a kid, and I had no idea it was considered a yoga pose. It just felt good to be in that position—there’s something freeing about being upside down.
20 years or so later, I can still rock a shoulder stand like nobody’s business—but headstand? Or handstand? Not so much.
Hey, cut me some slack—I’m 6-feet tall!
“So?” you may say.
Hello, center of gravity! Remember that old saying: “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
If When I fall, that sh*t is gonna hurt!
Well, maybe it won’t…But in my mind, I am still reeling from the pain.
Ah, but there’s the real challenge, eh?
Do I have trouble inverting because I’m tall? Or do I have trouble simply because of my own fear?
Yes, I acknowledge that fear plays a big hand. It’s not unfounded though!
I’ve never been particularly strong in the upper-body area—I have weak arms.
But my yoga practice has helped me build up my arm strength! For instance, I can finally achieve vasisthasana (side plank.)
It literally took me eight years of practicing yoga before I could legitimately hold this posture.
So imagining my skinny little matchstick arms supporting the entire weight of my body in a handstand, with my head dangling precariously above the floor is—well, terrifying.
Same thing with sirsasana (headstand), and I know there’s more involved than just the arms, but I’m telling you—the struggle is real!
Honestly though, many folks experience some fear when attempting inversions, and that is natural! I mean, c’mon—the world is being turned upside down!
That is a huge part of the challenge!
It’s not truly about being “strong enough” to perform a headstand or handstand. The true challenge is overcoming our fears and inhibitions.
This comes with time and practice—and it’s something I’m still working on.
Recently, I came across this funny yoga video, which offers a bit of advice for those of us attempting inversions: It’s all about that base.
The base—the foundation of the posture, will sustain the posture, so it must be strong.
This yogic parody of a catchy pop song reminds us that it’s okay to be lighthearted and have fun with our practice—even if that includes attempting a headstand!
Author: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: YouTube screenshot.