The focus of the month is “A Version of Inversion”. It emphasizes the power of upside-down asanas and how we can gain strength transferable to daily life. As stated in the Jivamukti focus of the month essay, asanas with a high degree of inversion tend to reflect back our attitudes. They shine a spotlight to the tendencies of our mind. When we invert, we literally turn our world upside down, and this sometimes induces fear, insecurity, or helplessness. What’s going to happen? How can I manage? What should I do? When we practice inversions safely and consistently, we find that we slowly and surely build strength and resilience. Our sense of fear, insecurity, and helplessness become smaller and smaller. When confronted by realities that shake us, like our climate change crisis, instead of clinging on to panic or apathy, we calmly approach the situation. We assess what changes we can make— to eat a vegan diet, to walk or bike instead of driving all the time, to have conversations with people who can look at energy, transport, infrastructure, land etc, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from those perspectives.
When we think of inversions, we think of poses that turn upside down. And those upside down poses hold importance in our practice, for sure. But the most powerful inversion is not an asana (or pose) but a mudra. Viparita karani translates as “attitudes reversing” and the true power of practicing inversions is that it doesn’t stop when we leave the yoga studio. It only starts in the studio to set up the stage for our daily life confrontations.