The classic ‘downward facing dog’ is so popular probably because it feels so good … and the benefits are vast. In particular, any inversion is stimulatory to the brain with the blood flow turning head-wards bringing a rich supply of blood to the brain thanks to gravity. Generally speaking, all inversions improve health, reduce anxiety and stress, balance the nervous system and increase self confidence. They also help increase mental power, concentration and the ability to endure large workloads without strain. The blood flow to the brain stimulates the pituitary gland helping the operation of the entire endocrine system. We slow and deepen the breath while inverted helping to reduce stress more by maximising the exchange of CO2 and O2 and encouraging rhythmic respiration. Inverted postures also improve the quality of your meditation, particularly when practiced with pranayamas – rhythmical breathing techniques that expand the energy.
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