You have been standing on your feet since you can remember. Have you tried balancing yourself the other way round? It is possible!
Often referred to as the king of yoga postures, the Headstand posture has been praised for providing physical benefits—but it’s also been criticized for exposing the head and neck to weight that could cause injury if done the wrong way.
In traditional yoga practices, Headstand is an inverted posture taught in seven different forms. The base of support is the top of the skull. To achieve this pose, come to your knees, place your forearms on the floor, and clasp your hands, positioning your elbows shoulder-width apart. This creates an inverted V from clasped hands to your elbows. Place the crown of your head on the floor, and cradle the back of your head with your clasped hands. Engage your upper body as you press your elbows and wrists into the floor, and then lift your shoulders. Once you establish this stable base, lift your legs off the floor until your body is inverted and erect, balancing on your head and forearms.
So, a beginner might ask, why go through the stress of achieving the headstand pose in the first place?
Headstand boosts blood flow:
By being in an inverted position, you’re sending oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your head. This aids mental function and focus. Normally, your heart is constantly pumping blood upward to the brain. The headstand gives the heart a much-needed break.
Headstand increases focus:
This inversion helps you to draw inwards and focus. Although, for the first five to eight seconds your brain is confused, since you’re rarely upside down.
Headstands strengthen your shoulders, arms and core:
With this posture, you are pushing down with your forearms and recruiting shoulder and arm muscles. This keeps the pressure off your head and neck, strengthening your core and allowing you to hold your legs up and balance.
Headstand aids hair health:
This is a terrific posture that works in increasing the nutrient blood flow to your head and scalp. Your body delivers extra nutrients and oxygen to your scalp and hair follicles by simply turning yourself upside down.
Headstands improve digestion:
Reverse gravity on your digestive organs helps release trapped gases and provides the much needed blood flow to the digestive organs.
Headstands reduces the chance of swollen ankles:
It’s known as “Edema”: swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissues, an uncomfortable sensation to deal with. Those who spend long hours on their feet may be susceptible to this condition around the ankles. Headstands reverse the fluids in the body, helping to flush out water retention.
An upside-down position simulates a face lift by letting your facial skin hang in the opposite direction, and the rush of blood gives you a healthy glow too. So, for those who want that healthy glow, here’s the secret.
As much as Ibiene preaches healthy living, we recommend learning the posture headstand from a qualified teacher. Headstands can be contraindicated if you have any previous head or neck injuries, extremely high blood pressure, ear and eye problems (like glaucoma), if you are menstruating, or have acid reflux. With that said, it’s always best to consult your doctor and your experienced gym or Yoga instructor before trying.
What healthy exercises tips have you tried? Do share with us in the comment section.