Still a Little Hesitant to Go Upside Down? This Home Practice Will Help

Strengthen your core and build upper-body strength so you feel more comfortable in any inversion.

woman in prasarita padottanasana

Build core and upper-body strength and get comfy going upside down with this sequence from Jolie Manza.

When practiced regularly, inversions build upper-body strength, connect you to your core, and offer a new perspective on your practice. The work you put in to find balance on your hands (or head) can help you meet the challenges you face in your day-to-day life. Like any obstacle, mastering inversions takes quite a bit of focus, courage, and a willingness to try, but the results can be incredibly rewarding.

Going upside down with confidence requires dedication: building strength, learning to use your core for stability, and keeping your legs light and energized so they can balance above your hips.

See also Kino MacGregor’s 4-Step Get-Your-Handstand Plan

The first time I found my balance upside down, I realized the untapped potential of my incredible body. I was hooked. But I also found the journey challenging at times. A moment of clarity came when I realized how under-utilized some of my muscles were. We are so accustomed to relying on the major muscles that help us navigate our pedestrian lives (think quadriceps and biceps) but when asked to call upon the subtle muscles in our hands or low belly, we don’t quite know how to engage them or how to use them to our benefit.

Hopefully this sequence will help you wake up the parts of your body that you will need to call upon when going upside down, in turn, stimulating your mind! Be patient but courageous as you search for your (vertical) potential.

About the Author
Jolie Manza is an international yoga teacher and movement professional in Bali. She’s the founder of YogaKoh, a school specializing in teacher trainings, retreats, and workshops worldwide. Learn more at yogakoh.com.

See also Challenge Pose: Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)