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Interview: Rachael Mellican

by Bonnie Gill

Inversions. You’ve probably heard about them at yoga, seen them on Instagram and maybe even given them a go once, twice, or many times. One thing I think we can all agree on is that is takes practice, patience and persistence to balance upside down. And this June, our very own self-confessed inversion junkie, Rach Mellican, is hosting a workshop dedicated to just that.

Below Rach shares a little more detail about the workshop and why she thinks inversions are so much fun and accesible to all:

Inversions can be daunting! What does an inversion entail and where is a good starting point, other than your Bottoms Up workshop?

I personally define an inversion as a pose that brings our hips above our heart, therefore reversing blood flow and re-nourishing our heart space, our brain and our internal organs. Inversions can be a gentle restorative shape such as viparita karani (legs up in the air) or they can be strong active shapes such as headstands or handstands. Inversions challenge us physically, change our perspective and take us through a journey of learning about ourselves.

What do you love about inversions and what benefits do they have physically and mentally?

Inversions are a journey of growth. In our modern everyday life, how often would we turn ourselves upside down? Close to never, right? It’s amazing to think of how much nourishment these shapes can offer our bodies as we bring our feet above our head – the rush and warmth of blood re-energises our brains, heart and liver and much more.

Of course, inversions can also build an impressive amount of strength in the body. As we strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints we build up the protection to then avoid otherwise common injuries and early breakdown of the body.

I am a handstand junkie – I love the challenge they give me. It’s such a humbling practice and when exploring them, I am there with myself and nothing else.

What can we expect from your Bottoms Up workshop, and who is the workshop suitable for?

The workshop is open to all levels and just as the name states, you will expect to get your butt off the floor! We will start will a purposeful flow to warm the body, followed by some fun and educational techniques to activate and strengthen the body to progress ourselves into our own inversion practice. We will go through the prep, the understanding and the play of 3-4 different inversions, leaving you with an understanding of this practice and more importantly, of yourself.

What advice do you have for yogis of all levels when it comes to inversions and regular practice?

Develop an understanding of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Intention is everything! Inversions are a fun and explorative practice, be sure to keep them at that. They are just another asana (pose) in the yoga practice, not more or less special that any other element of this practice.

Always be a student and remain humble.

What’s something that might be important to know when practicing these regularly, either in studio or at home?

There is a lot to know, which we will cover in the workshop. Alignment, strength, safety and intention are 4 huge elements that I consider important to the inversion practice. Once we have a baseline knowledge of these we can explore and practice if and wherever we like. 

Rach’s Bottom’s Up Inversion Workshop is on Saturday, 15th June from 2pm-4pm!
Book here.