The word inversions when applied to yoga asanas strikes fear into many a heart. Formerly polite and obedient students will openly rebel against doing them. Previously undisclosed injuries and anatomical asymmetries will be used as excuses for not participating. And, women who stopped menstruating years ago will claim having their period as reason for abstaining. More than with any other group of poses, people think they have to attain textbook perfect headstands and shoulderstands. It’s like thinking you should drive from coastal NSW to Broome in two days. Rushing may only impede your progress, and will definitely limit your enjoyment. There are so many preparations and alternative poses that can be done before doing “proper” inversions. And, especially where there are injuries, structural problems or medical conditions, they may be contraindicated. A tremendously useful article I came across, “Yoga for the Upper Body: Teamwork Makes the Difference”, helpful for anyone wanting to prepare shoulders, arms and wrists for doing inversions. The author, Enid Kassner, suggests an all-over routine for flexibility, strength and that old bugbear, rotator cuff function. True confession: with all the best intentions, I completed only one half of the sequence from Day 1 in my allotted 1.5 hours. At least the class went quickly 😉 Sequence for inversions: Warm-up Warm-up Lying down shoulder/arm movements Utthita Padangusthasana Arms and shoulders: Gomukhasana, Garudasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Baddha Hastasana, Paschima Namaskar Adho Mukha Svanasana Dynamic: Step-back lunges x 6 Tadasana Uttanasana Parsvottanasana Prasarita Padottanasana Preparation for Sirsasana/Sirsasana Setu Bhandasana Sarvangasana Sarvangasana Cool-down Ardha Jatara Parivartanasana Janu Sirsasana Paschimottanasana (Viparita Karani – time permitting) Ujjayi Pranayama Savasana

Eve workshop Nov 2011