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Yoga All-In-One For Dummies by Consumer Dummies, Larry Payne, Georg Feuerstein, Sherrie Baptiste, Doug Swenson, Stephan Bodian, LaReine Chabut, Therese Iknoian

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Chapter 6

Looking at the World Upside-Down: Safe Inversion Postures

In This Chapter

arrow Making heads or tails of the yogic principle of reversal

arrow Working with leg inversions

arrow Gravitating toward shoulder stands

Thousands of years ago, the yoga masters made an amazing discovery: By tricking the force of gravity with the help of inversion exercises, you can reverse the effects of aging, improve your health, and add years to your life.

To picture how inversions work, take a look at a jug of unfiltered apple juice sitting on the grocery store shelf. Gravity has pulled the solids in the juice to the bottom of the jug, diluting the liquid near the top. If you turn the bottle upside-down, gravity pulls the bottom sediment toward the top of the inverted jug, remixing the juice with the pulp of the apples. In a similar way, when you turn yourself upside-down, the sediments — mostly blood and lymph (a clear, yellowish fluid similar to blood plasma) — that have collected in your lower limbs during a long day of uprightness sink toward your head and revitalize your entire body and mind, helping you face your fears and reversing the tide of stagnation and mental negativity.

The idea that you must ...

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