Much like the airline’s “crash position”, head down, butt up is my key to survival. It is a “must do” when life takes a sudden tail spin or worse yet, I emotionally backslide.
The backslide could be caused by work stress, frenemy issues, relationship worries, or the past surfacing and bringing anxiety along with it. It doesn’t really matter what the cause is, the solution is always the same.
Today, I had a double whammy: emotional funk plus workout backslide. Or at least that’s how it felt. I couldn’t run as fast enough, lift enough—whatever. Everything felt hard and the hope I had for clearing up my emotional tailspin quickly faded as my WOD went on and eventually came to an end.
So here I am at last resort staring down the barrel of what looks like a stress filled week. What to do? What to do?
Assume the position.
Fortunately for me, several years ago, determined to find relief from my ever racing mind and easily agitatible temperament, I began taking Iyengar Yoga at Iyengar Yoga of Bend. There I learned that inversions are great for stress, anger, and depression. Essentially head down, butt up and you will feel better.
When I first heard this I was skeptical. But there’s nothing like experience to prove something right?
You try it. Crying like a baby? Throw your feet up in the air. Guaranteed the well will run dry. Want to strangle and ex or walk out of your job in a rage? Just give it a try.
Now I spend up to 10 minutes at a time in headstand regularly (my favorite pose). And handstand and shoulder stand are close friends of mine.
Sometimes in the middle of the night when stress and anxiety like to creep up on me most, I’m not up for a full inversion. Fortunately, my cure- all for stress holds true for partial inversions like adho mukha svanasana (downward dog) and Uttanasana (folding forward bend). Transitioning from one pose to the next a couple of times centers me and allows me to get back to bed sooner than later.
So my week is off to a tough start. Some of my friends would say HTFU, others would encourage me to just keep hitting the pavement or the box. Fortunately if all else fails I’ve always got my go to in an emergency.
Head down, butt up and it’s all good.