Turning yourself “upside down” is a good thing. Too often, we live our lives from the neck up, and by thinking too much we lose the moment and our connection to our bodies. Many of our physical problems actually arise simply because we live too much in our heads. When you turn your world upside down, symbolically & metaphorically, you change that. This yoga asana is excellent medicine for anxiety, obsessiveness and an ego that’s stuck or unyielding.
Inversions (a type of asana in which the feet are lifted higher than the heart) have many other health benefits. The inversion of the circulatory system and the flushing out of venous blood brings an increase in blood flow to the brain and a general feeling of well being. The endrocrine glands, the digestive system and the lymphatic system are also cleansed and re-vitalized. In order to do this very wonderful modification of the Downward Dog asana, you will need a wall and a mat (please don’t do it at a tree in the park unless you are very accomplished!). Begin by assuming your full downward dog position with your heels against the wall and your body coming out at 90 degrees along your mat. From a very strong downward dog, lift one leg at a time up the wall until your legs are in line with your hips. You will need good upper body strength to carry this pose off so be sure you are ready. Keep pressing your heels into the wall to activate the hips and remember to breathe. Allow your head to let go giving yourself full permission to trust and to explore your own strength and concentration.