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Everyday inspiration: Go upside down

Unless you practice yoga regularly, going upside down may sound a little strange or uncomfortable. We asked three women to take a look at the world from a new perspective.

Raina doing aerial yoga

Challenge: go upside down

Why? Shake up the routine by stepping out of your comfort zone and going upside down. In yoga, inversions are practiced to reverse the blood flow and improve circulation, to give the lymphatic system a boost, to send blood to the brain and to calm the nervous system.

Not ready for a handstand or headstand? Try a gentle standing forward fold.

Our ladies react:

Raina doing aerial yoga

Raina: I took my very first aerial class this week. It was an enriching experience to say the least. I have a whole new appreciation for the amount of core and upper body strength athletes must have. I will admit that there was a moment when I almost gave up because just climbing the silks seemed impossible, but I pushed through and successfully scaled them. Hanging upside down was quite thrilling and a reward in itself for the workout. I would definitely do it again. I enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone and stretching myself in new ways.

Marcy inversion |

Marcy: It’s amazing how one little shift can change your whole perspective. Inversions are a powerful way of reviving your spirit. How often do you actually get a rush of blood to the head? Flip out for a change. Lie upside down off your bed or even just lift your legs up a wall. The body is an incredible thing. Let your blood flow freely inside it.

Kristen: This week we were challenged to go upside down. And since I’m terrible at yoga, and can barely still do a cartwheel, I figured I’d use this one to play with my daughter. So we hung off the bed. We tried to do backflips, and I even attempted a handstand. The world is silly from this perspective, and so were we. The bonus of this experiment is that my normally cautious daughter became bold and courageous. Who knew a little playtime would be so invigorating? And who knew I’d get such a headache?

Upside down world |

Akilah: Because I’m bad at yoga, do not have access to hard-core amusement park rides at the moment and generally had a hard time thinking of a way to accomplish this, I enlisted the help of a friend for the “Go Upside Down” challenge. My friend would rather remain anonymous, so we can call him Macaroni.

Macaroni did me the solid of lifting me like a sack of peaches and flipping me upside down and proceeding to carry me around the block today. That wasn’t the whole reason we hung out, but I saw an opportunity to face my fear of heights, falling and being upside down all at once with a willing participant, and I went for it.

While I was upside down I learned:

  • Some people have really broad shoulders that seem almost too perfect for carrying other humans.
  • The fear of falling always outweighs the fear of heights.
  • The world is beautiful from so many angles.
  • It’s hard to reassure strangers that you aren’t being kidnapped when a large person is carrying you upside down.
  • Brooklyn needs to do something about those leaves before summer gets here.
  • It’s not hard to face your fears if you just make your mind up to do so.
  • And finally, you can get your friends to do almost anything with the promise of pizza afterwards.

Our Everyday Inspiration series wants to inspire you with small ways to improve your life. We’ve asked 20 women to take on a variety of small challenges and share their results. See all of our Everyday Inspiration challenges here, and meet the women here.

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