Join us this November for a series of Yoga Workshops, focusing in particular on inversions and the art/skill of going upside down.
We caught up with Sarah Grogan, the Head of Yoga at Digme, to discuss the numerous benefits of inversions for strength, mental agility and manipulating the nervous system to ultimately make us feel better!
What are the benefits of inversions in Yoga?
Often when people think of inversions, they think of the tough (and perhaps scary) postures like handstands or forearm stands. However, the most talked about and recognised posture in Yoga - the downward dog, is actually an inversion. An inversion is when your heart is above your head, and your perspective is shifted to having your head and your sight upside down. The way I think about inversions is that when I'm upside down, I have to be so focused on the present that there really is no room for the monkey chatter of the mind. The physical benefits are improved circulation, building full body strength and awareness, as well as stimulating the lymphatic system. Some inversions are very stimulating/energising for the nervous system and some have a calming effect.
From a mental perspective, they can change our mood - energise us if we are feeling tired (headstand, handstand), or calm us if we are feeling too hyper (shoulder stand, plough pose). Lastly, I think the practice of learning to invert can help us realise our full potential. They require patience, discipline, and hard work, but can feel wonderful and be such a confidence boost when we make steps toward achieving them.
Yes! Every class will have inversions, in many it will be downward dog, or dolphin (downward dog with your elbows down). Our Power classes might include some focused strength and flexibility work towards headstand or forearm stand and our Level 2 classes will often focus some attention on building you up to handstand. The November workshops, and in particular Sarah’s on the 7th of November and David’s on the 27th are all levels. You do not need to be able to go upside down, you just need to be up for trying!
What Yoga should people do to help on reducing stress and anxiety?
Yoga is an amazing way to help reduce stress and anxiety. Our more dynamic classes (Power & Flow) help people challenge their mind and body and breath to be able to deal with stress in a controlled way. This in turn should help one deal with stresses in daily life. It can also be just a great way to switch off and take a break. Our more restorative classes like Unwind and Yin are designed to calm the body and mind, through stimulating a parasympathetic nervous system response. This is the rest and digest side of our nervous system, which can be hard to tap into sometimes when life is very busy and stressful.
Our Breathwork classes are the ultimate for tapping into the nervous system. Learning that by controlling our breath, we are in control of our nervous system, or in other words our responses to the stimuli of every day life. Yoga and Breathwork are training for the body and the mind. Through these practices, we connect with our self on a deeper level, which helps us understand how we are feeling. Furthermore, I think of these practices as tools, that teach us how to respond to our feelings and emotions.
Want to join our Yoga Workshops? Click here to purchase your tickets! We look forward to seeing you there.