Work Out with Monika: Turn your workout upside down

Monika goes head over heels for an inversion program that helps with back issues


Published:

Monika Schnarre tries upside-down yoga

Sarah Birks’ inversion workshop, called Head Over Heels, is an intense and exciting take on more traditional yoga classes. It allows individuals to come out, explore, play and refine these most challenging postures. Although inversions are offered in most class settings, if you haven’t mastered any, trying them in a class setting can be intimidating.

“This workshop allows individuals many different ways to explore inversions, providing options and assistance for students and a step-by-step, safe way into them,” Birks says.   

Warming up  
We begin by taking a few moments of stillness. We then move through some breath work followed by shoulder openers and flow movement to prepare and warm the body and get blood flowing in the arms and shoulders. Core stability is very important for inversions.

Going upside down
We start with some easier inversions like the supported headstand (where you cup your hands around your head with your forearms and elbows on the ground) with Birks spotting me. We also work on my handstand against the wall and then away from the wall. It’s an exciting moment when you’re able to hold the posture on your own! 

The tough part
This is an intense workshop that challenges the mind (getting over your fear) and your balance. It is extremely tough, but like any other yoga practice, you move at your own pace. Birks confides that it took her weeks working in a doorway at home to master her headstand. The postures with your head on the ground can take some getting used to. I preferred the handstands, and others like the dolphin pose (a variation of downward dog with forearms down).

Cooling down
This is my favourite part — I am an expert at shavasana (corpse pose). 

The benefits 
Truth be told, the idea of spending an hour upside down is not my idea of a good time. However, this workshop is exhilarating, and the health benefits are many. Much like inversion therapy, yoga inversions help reverse harmful effects of gravity and, in doing so, are an effective treatment for back issues, reducing mental stress and strengthening the immune system. 

The next day 
I felt great the following day. My back problems seemed to improve and so did my attitude about being upside down.

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Monika Schnarre is a model, actor, entrepreneur and television personality. She has appeared in over 50 television shows and films and on over 100 magazine covers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

An all-female fitness studio with a glossy and girly décor

An all-female fitness studio with a glossy and girly décor

Walk up the stairs leading to Elle Fitness and Social and you’ll notice a few key things that tell you you’re not in for your average workout experience. First, a mural that greets you with the saying “Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day” and an image of the pop culture icon.
Posted 13 hours ago
Taveeta Szymanowicz on her budding television and music career

Taveeta Szymanowicz on her budding television and music career

When Taveeta Szymanowicz walked into her audition for a spot in the second season of Family Channel’s The Next Step, a show that follows the lives of an elite group of young dancers, she wasn’t expecting a big role.
Posted 18 hours ago
How They Met: How Lexa Doig and Michael Shanks make marriage work

How They Met: How Lexa Doig and Michael Shanks make marriage work

Lexa Doig is returning to the small screen with her role in the new series The Arrangement, just as fans are getting ready to say goodbye to her husband, Michael Shanks, as his show Saving Hope is in its last season. Here’s how this television duo met.
Posted 18 hours ago
Midtown marijuana dispensary hires security after community consultation

Midtown marijuana dispensary hires security after community consultation

Posted 1 day ago
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module