Quepolandia logo


scorpionBy Mark Goldstein

It’s March, and a few days ago the Northern Hemisphere will be experienced it’s spring equinox, when Winter begins to turn to Spring. Many of our visitors are here from the northern latitudes, and have been going through a long cold winter. The arrival of spring launches growth and new beginnings. Many of you reading this are ex-pats from up north, and have experienced huge changes by relocating to Costa Rica. This brings up this month’s subject and pose of the month. Change: how to create it, embrace it and how to use yoga to make it more meaningful.

Playa Yoga

During the third week in March, Earth reaches it’s tipping point on a geological scalewhich will initiate Spring to our north and Autumn to our south. Simply put : What was up becomes down, and what was down becomes up on a globalscale, and this creates massive changes.This brings up our Pose(s) of the Month: Inversions. An inversion pose is one that gets you upside down. A pose when your heart is above your head, or at least your feet are up into the air.

When we get upside down, we put our bodies in a very unfamiliar, almost opposite state of being. When we perform an inversion we are asking our circulatory, digestive and nervous systems to work in a very different way. We can consider this a healthy stress. Healthy stress is very beneficial, and causes big shifts, and big changes. Things thatwere blocked may become open, things that were inflamed may reduce, and places that hurt may begin to soothe. What is happening in our bodies that is so good when we are upside down? There are many one-way valves in our bodies, and sometimes it helps to take pressure off of them, helping out our circulatory and lymphatic systems.

There are also places in our lower bodies; our feet, legs, and lower digestive tracts that benefit from being turned upside down. This can release stored up toxins and waste products which can then be more easily carried away. Other parts of our lymphatic system can also be affected, such as our Thyroid glands, especially when practicing shoulder stand for example.

These benefits also carry cautions, and you should speak with an instructor or doctor if you have high or low blood sugar, or are pregnant. Women who are menstruating should also avoid inversions. If you have any injuries, especially neck issues, then you need to practice a pose that does not put pressure on your injury. With any injury, in any yoga pose, you will need to modify a pose to keep it safe. There are many inversion poses in yoga to choose from. A very simple one that almost anyone can practice is lying on your back with your feet in the air and your legs supported by a wall or chair. Other inversions include: Shoulder stand, plow, head stand, hand stand and forearm balance (pictured). Whichever inversion pose is right for you, you should feel safe, comfortable, relaxed and able to breath deeply and calmly. Once you find your balance, find which muscles you need to use to stay up, and which ones you may relax. Then just be there. Breath, relax, and simply observe what is going on inside of you. Inversions can last anywhere from a few nice deep breaths to ten minutes, or more. Your instructor can help you outwith any details. In my classes I may suggest that you picture your body as an hour glass. The top chamber is filled with sand, and is slowly emptying into the lower chamber. Once you settle in, you may realize that what ever mood you were in, that you always end up letting it go and arrive in that great “upside down place” .

If inversion poses are available to you, try to include at least one or more in every yoga practice. Have your instructor help you discover, and eventually advance, the pose that is right for you, and enjoy. Turning your worlds upside down every once in a while can be a very healthy way of seeing things differently, which can often lead to great things. A yoga practice can be a joyous part of your life, and I hope that I can play a part inopening that up to you.

Presently I am conducting private group and individual yoga classes. Please let me know if you are interested in setting up or joining one of our classes. I also offer Traditional Thai Massage, which is a yoga based style of massage. Please call or visit my website for further details. playayogacostarica.com

Comments are closed.