You may have first-hand experience with headstands, handstands and other bodily inversions from your current yoga practice or even way back in gym class. Or, perhaps you’ve only been a spectator of the “stunt” on your Instagram feed or when pausing the remote control to marvel at Olympic gymnasts. It’s obvious that turning upside down puts a new perspective on life, but you may be surprised to learn just how many benefits there are to doing handstands, headstands and forearm stands. Even a downward dog is considered a yoga inversion because it is a pose that places the hips above the heart and the heart above the head. Whether you’ve done hundreds upon hundreds of handstands and inversions or are just learning the basics, these 10 Reasons to Yoga Upside Down should encourage you to add an inversion to your daily workout routine.
If you are looking for instructional tips on how to perform headstands and handstands, My Yoga on Gaiam TV has a huge variety of online yoga classes available to be watched at a time that fits with your schedule. And, now through March 12 (2015), Stayfree has a fantastic “free with purchase” offer for one month of complementary My Yoga – just buy a Stayfree product at Target (like STAYFREE® Ultra Thin® Regular Feminine Pads with Wings), keep the receipt, and visit http://www.stayfree.com/myyoga to get started. Of course, please consult with a medical professional before starting any new exercise regimen.
10 Reasons to Yoga Upside Down
- Get a Glow On: When upside-down, fresh nutrients and oxygen are flushed to the face, creating a healthy glow that will look like you just came from a spa facial.
- Tone and Strengthen: Performing headstands and handstands work the muscles of the shoulders, upper back and core in the constant attainment of balance. To hold a handstand for any length of time requires control over the obliques, the rectus abdominus and the transverse abdominus.
- Gray Away: Because inversions increase nutrients and blood flow to the scalp, some yogis claim that these poses can help stall the onset of gray hair – maybe even reverting some gray back to the original color. Not sure if this is true, but worth a try and much cheaper than a colorist!
- Brain and Body Booster: Being in a headstand or handstand increases blood flow to the brain and improves cognition. It also stimulates the glands in charge of sleep-wake cycles, digestion, sex hormones, blood pressure, and more.
- Confidence Kickstarter: Mastering a handstand or headstand will take your self-esteem to new levels. With good instruction and practice most of us can eventually accomplish these yoga poses or modified versions.
- Mood Lifter: The adrenal glands are flushed and detoxified with yoga inversions and this creates a better outlook on life, some yogis even say preventing mild depression thanks to the release of happy hormones. In any event, doing a handstand while frowning turns it into an automatic smile!
- Happier Gut: The gravitational pull of being upside stimulates digestive juices and keeps things moving along. Inversions stimulate the pituitary gland, the endocrine glad that is in charge of regulating metabolism and turning food into energy.
- Reduce Swelling: Getting feet above the head in an inverted yoga pose is an effective way to alleviate edema (swelling) in legs, ankles and feet.
- Improve Focus: Practicing yoga inversions will help you learn to tune out distractions, listen and respond to the feedback from your body, and lock in on the task at hand.
- Party Trick: Add some swagger to your step by impressing friends and family with your upside-down balancing talent!
Don’t forget to visit http://www.stayfree.com/myyoga for the free My Yoga from Stayfree offer.
This post is sponsored by Sverve on behalf of Stayfree. I was compensated for my time and review of the product(s), however all opinions, editorial comments and suggestions are my own.