Benefits of Upside Down Yoga

Downdog croppedDo you know why raising your arms, lowering your head, or lifting your legs is so beneficial during yoga? These inversions help your lymphatic system clear out the waste in your bloodstream.

We all know that our heart pumps our blood around our bodies bringing oxygen to the red blood cells and nutrients to our plasma. When our blood flows to the capillaries, the oxygen and nutrients enter through the fluid surrounding our cells.

An exchange is made as the waste products leave the cells. Most of the “waste” goes into the capillaries but some enters the lymph vessels. Our lymph nodes act as filters which remove the bacteria and viruses from the lymph vessels. Sometimes the lymph nodes become swollen with fluid and infection.

We know that if our ankles become swollen, we elevate them to help the lymph system get the fluid back into circulation. Our lymphatic system doesn’t have a heart pumping the fluid through our bodies so gravity helps. This is why yoga poses are so beneficial. We turn our bodies and limbs upside down and move the fluids around helping to remove all the unhealthy waste.

IMG_4767 If you can do handstands, headstands, and shoulder stands, you are turning your world upside down in a healthy way. Many other poses such as fan, tree, downdog, and legs up the wall can also move the fluids around your body. Using a chair can insure the benefits of inversions if all these poses are not available to you.

Your brain also benefits by seeing things differently from a whole new perspective. Perhaps this new world view will manifest in other positive ways when you leave the yoga class.

My advice is to always turn your world upside down! Find a safe way to invert your body.

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