Here’s to everyone who is trying to overcome their fear of inversions.
It’s perfectly normal to fear inversions. Even seasoned practitioners still feel the fear sometimes. When i first started practicing inversions, I was afraid of the judgement around me. I was afraid of possible injuries and i was afraid that i might not be able to practice again.
So … first thing, PRACTICE SAFELY.
How to practice safely?
There are many ways to practice inversions safely. Below are some of the ways attempted by myself:
- Practice together with a friend and support each other
- Lay cushions (or similar) around you
- Practice against a wall and away from the wall (so that you don’t create a dependency on a wall for inversions)
- Practice the techniques of inverting in a swimming pool
How to conquer the fear?
Below are the secrets to conquering the fear of inversions, now read carefully and remember them…
1. Take Small Steps
It’s all about stability achieved in a step-by-step basis. Never rush for an inversion, the chances of falling over could be much higher! For headstands, start slowly with bent knees and build up the core and balance. Keep calm and balance.
2. Mental Preparation
Yes! Preparing yourself mentally before you proceed to practice inversions can be helpful. Kind and courageous words to yourself before engaging in any inversion practice makes the entire process a more positive one. Try saying to yourself, ‘Today, I am going to focus and focus and focus… Then, i am going to lift off my feet with my strong core and shoulders and stay balanced for 5 seconds. I can do this!”
3. Plan to Fall
Having a plan to fall keeps yourself prepared for the fall (it happens, no running away from this). Everyone falls during the learning journey… who doesn’t? Common ways for falling out of inversions are back bends or cartwheels (use arms to support). Never ever land hard on your spine! Practice falling to gain the confidence for inversions. Yes… start learning how to fall.
4. Review and Improve
There are always room for improvements! Try to take videos of yourself during practice, so that you can identify the areas for improvements later. Up till now, I still take videos of myself when i practice inversions. This is to look at my own alignment and to ensure that I’ve engaged the muscles that i need to engage (i.e. core, tucked in hips, keeping my back straight, etc.). This method works effectively and it allows me to be more aware of my own movement during inversions. It gives me a visual of how i would look like, and for my mind to focus on engaging the correct muscles. Try it!
Lastly, be patient and keep practicing. Practice makes perfect.