This week in yoga class, everybody arrived feeling sluggish from all the heat.
Once you hit the 90s and above, it is hard to feel like jumping around or doing any particularly explosive activity.
But you may surprise yourself to find how much better if you simply reverse your direction.
This week, we practiced modified handstands against the wall, shoulder stand and headstand, interspersed with legs against the wall pose, fish pose and hip and shoulder openers using the wall for support.
All very relaxing, but surprisingly rejuvenating.
When you are hanging upside down, you get many of the same benefits as continuous aerobic exercise with much less effort. You encourage an increase in the amount of blood returning to your heart simply by making gravity your friend. You increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, so you feel more alive and awake.
You also encourage the flow of lymph. Your lymph system is twice as large as the circulatory system for your blood, and is part of your detoxification and immune systems. The lymph system is a closed pressure system with one-way valves that keep the lymph moving to your heart. When you are upside down, you stimulate your entire lymph system and that in turn boosts your immune system.
When you are feeling sluggish, turn your whole world upside down and see if you don’t feel a whole lot better.