3 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Inversions

Photo: Ashley Streff

Caley Alyssa is an LA-based yoga instructor and the founder of Caley Yoga. Her new class, Yoga Inversions 101: An Introduction to Getting Upside Down, gives you a step-by-step approach to nailing handstands, headstands, arm balances, and more.  

There are a few very common pitfalls my students encounter regularly when attempting to invert. In a way, it's comforting to know that similar challenges and "-isms" arise for each of us in our inversion practice. But sometimes, even when we're aware of these "-isms," it simply takes time and practice to break a habit.

Here are three things that most everyone gets wrong when going upside down:

1. Watching your feet

Trust me, your feet will do what they're supposed to do without you watching them. Once you have a more advanced practice, you can work with dropping your gaze but not in the beginning stages of going upside down. Free yourself of all that foot-watching!

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2. Kicking

Kicking up to the wall can be fun if you've never gotten upside down before, but if you kick and use momentum to get upside down, you will flip over. I promise. Take it slow, and keep your legs strong and straight.

3. Using the wall

This is the biggest one: Don't use a wall! You will get used to overkicking, and you will make it so much harder on yourself to find your handstand. Once you've got a handstand, the wall can be beneficial for dropping your gaze or working on more advanced variations but not until you have an inversion away from the wall.

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Caley Alyssa

RYT 900 & mbg Class Instructor
Caley Alyssa is a internationally renowned Los Angeles–based yoga teacher and the founder of Caley Yoga. She credits yoga with helping her define and accomplish her dreams, and she's passionate about helping others manifest their own dreams as well—both through the classes she teaches and the relationships she forms off the mat. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and has completed multiple yoga trainings, including Yoga Works 200-hour Teacher Training, Dharma Mittra 500-hour Teacher Training, Yoga Tree 200-hour Teacher Training, Shiva Rea Chakra Vinyasa Teacher Training, and Children’s Yoga Teacher Training. She is also the instructor of two very successful mindbodygreen classes—28 Days to Yoga Bliss and Yoga Inversions 101—and the newest mindbodygreen training, the 100-Hour Yoga Training.
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Caley Alyssa

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