03 Jun Don’t Be Afraid of Turning Your Life Upside Down


- Linley McConnell, Canada (Guest Blogger)

Did you know there is actually an upside of going upside down? Headstands and handstands are not just something yogis practice to look cool and zen. Yes, handstands and headstands can definitely make you look like a pro on your mat, but there are multiple benefits that can result from flipping your life upside down.

  1. Increased Blood Flow to Your Brain and Eyes: When you go upside down, blood flow increases to your brain which increases both focus and awareness. Blood flow also increases to your eye area which can actually prevent macular degeneration issues.
  1. Aids with Digestion: Eat too much at dinner? Have a stomach ache? Headstands also assist with digestion. When you let the effects of gravity take over, you help your body to remove blockages and increase blood flow to your digestive organs. This will not only relieve any discomfort you may be feeling, but also increases nutrient absorption to your cells.
  1. Improves Strength and Posture: Headstands and handstands take quite a bit of strength. If you’ve already perfected the pose, you know that you need some serious abdominal and shoulder muscles – areas of the body that help with posture and body alignment.
  1. Shifts your mood. Headstands can literally turn your frown upside down. With the increase of blood to your brain, your adrenal glands are flushed and detoxified which can lead to more positive thoughts and a better mood.
  1. Decreases Foot and Back Pain: Headstands can alleviate foot and back pain as muscles in those areas become more relaxed. They also help with swollen feet, as blood rushes from your feet to your head, making headstands a great pose to practice post air-travel or long car-ride.
  • “But I could never do a head-stand, let alone a hand-stand”

You don’t need to have yoga guru skills to enjoy the benefits of going upside down. Shoulder stands or Viparita Kirani (waterfall pose) are great alternatives. Try lying on your back and putting your feet up against a wall or putting a block or pillow under your low back and raising your feet to the ceiling. Point your feet but spread your toes. This will give you the same positive effects in case you suffer from a fragile neck or back. BUT if you don’t have an injury and it’s a fear that is holding you back, there is no time like present, try practicing against a wall once a day! You will be a headstand master in no time.

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