A Headstand A Day Will Keep The Nerves At Bay
The [Many] Health Benefits of Headstands
I must spend half my day upside down. I’m addicted to being inverted. I just feel more at home there. I realized this long before I ever learned about the numerous health benefits inversions have to offer.
Once I did my research though, it became clear to me why I’ve always loved these poses. They don’t just make me feel better because they’re a fun personal challenge, but they actually do a lot for body and improving its function. Let’s chat more about the benefits of headstands and other beginners inversions.
I think everyone should incorporate an inversion practice into heir daily routine. This does not have to be a headstand. This could be something simple, such as laying at the base of a wall with your feet in the air. A downward dog is another excellent example of a beginner pose that provides all the same strength, stretch, and inversion that an advanced pose can.
The Benefits of Headstand Pose (Or Any Inversion!)
Take a look at the valuable health benefits offered by inversions, and if you struggle with even one thing on this list, I highly encourage you to take up a daily inversion practice. Start small…maybe a couple minutes a day with your feet in the air. Then build up to beginning inversions such as Downward Dog and Shoulderstand, then progress to a headstand when you’re comfortable. (Make sure you understand the technique first!) Following is a list of the important health benefits of headstands.
Relaxes and energizes your mind
Inversions such as headstand build heat in the body by stimulating the nervous system. Improved circulation and reduced tension enables your mind to feel clear and energized. This can result in increased productivity and mental clarity.
Eases pressure on your lower back
Studies have shown that inverted poses cause a near-immediate reduction in muscle tension. (Physiotherapist LJ Nosse’s study titled ‘Inverted Spinal Traction’ state finding of 35% reduction in muscle tension within 10 seconds.) Headstands relieve the gravitation pressure on the lower back, allowing the body to relax and back pain to subside.
Increases blood flow to vital organs
Practicing headstands increases blood circulation throughout the body. The gravitational pressure combined with the aerobic activity really helps move stagnant blood throughout the body and get it to organs that need it.
Improves memory and concentration
Inverting into a headstand encourages blood flow to the brain and the movement of stagnant blood in the veins. That rush of blood to the brain creates an increase in oxygen and nutrients which can improve one’s memory, concentration and critical thinking skills. Inversions can clear the mind and prepare you for a productive day.
Stimulates lymphatic system, promotes detoxification
The lymphatic system can be viewed as the drainage system of the body. It is also an important component of your immune system as it flushes toxins and excess nutrients from the body. However, the lymph system depends on gravitational pressure and dynamic body movement to transport the lymph fluid throughout your body. When you enter a headstand, that fluid is prompted to flow back towards the heart. This cleansing action will ultimately aid your immune system as well.
Alleviates stress, insomnia and depression
Headstands are a popular stress-reducing pose that promotes the function of the pineal and pituitary gland. Both big players in hormone regulation. A regular inversion practice will aid in hormone balance and improve circulation, which will help ease feelings of stress or anxiety. Also, the decrease in muscle tension while inverted will reduce stress in the body and allow for better sleep, which may help those battling with insomnia.
Regulates your metabolism
Just like any aerobic activity, a regular headstand practice can improve your overall fitness level. You may see improvements in digestion and metabolism.
Strengthens your core, back, neck, shoulders and arms
Headstands require a fair amount of shoulder and core strength, not to mention body awareness and control. Practicing this inversion regularly will undoubtably increase strength and stability in these areas. You may even become more flexible too, depending on which headstand variation you are practicing.
You can practice them anywhere.
All you need is a bare wall (and not even that if you have a free headstand practice!) to practice headstands. No equipment, no expense, no membership, no travel. All you need is a wall in your house, a bit of technique, and determination!
…plus, they are SO MUCH FUN!
Not to mention, seriously motivating and highly addicting!
But, Be Careful With This Pose If YOU:
- Have a back, neck or head injury.
- Have high blood pressure.
- Have glaucoma or any other eye condition.
- Don’t attempt with children under 5.
- Some women avoid inversions during menstruation. (I do not. They don’t bother me.)
How To Do A Headstand Safely
If you are interested in giving headstands a try, but you’re not sure where or how to start, don’t worry! I got you covered.
I want to make sure you have all the technique you need to find safe success in a headstand. The best place to start is against the wall. Remember, there are two different headstand techniques you could utilize here. Tripod headstand or bound headstand.
Fore a full tutorial of how to enter both a tripod headstand and a bound headstand, as well as how to exit safely, please refer to my FREE online class: How To Do A Headstand.