Yoga: Inverted Poses
Inversions can improve circulation and sleep, tone abdominal muscles, and increase concentration.
Lie on your back with legs bent and arms over your head on the floor. Bring your knees toward your chest, and roll on your back until you can lift your hips and place your hands on your back. Straighten your legs to a forty-five degree angle. Continue to support your lower back with your palms. Hold for about a minute.
Full Shoulder Stand
From half shoulder stand, extend your legs straight up in the air. Slide your hands a little farther down your lower back. Press your elbows toward each other and into the floor. Lengthen your torso up. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.
Caution: Never turn your head to the side when in shoulder stand.
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on the floor, and arms out to the sides. Bring your knees up toward your chest, then lower them to the right, keeping both shoulders on the floor. Look over your left shoulder. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch sides.
Lie down on your mat, arms by your sides, palms up to the ceiling. Tuck your shoulder blades under slightly, lengthen your neck, and take several deep breaths, allowing your body to melt into the floor with each exhale. Breathe deeply, letting go of the stress of the day. Relax as long as you like before slowly rolling to your side and helping yourself up.
Tip: This is one of the most important poses in yoga. If possible, cover yourself with a blanketyou may become slightly chilled as your body cools down.
Kalli Rasbury (pictured in photos) is a yoga instructor in Birmingham, Alabama.