This post is mostly about the health benefits of headstands and a little bit about my story of how I started practicing it a couple years ago.
Growing up I was not your elastic gymnast girl who would do cartwheels when happy, like most other kids I spent time with. I am the daughter of a couple with two completely opposite body types. My mom is a petite catwoman who can back flip at the age of 50 if she feels like it. She is the most beautiful woman I know with the youngest skin at her age. I am a daddy’s girl; long arms, long legs, looks somehow athletic but not flexible by nature at all. When I used to live in Japan, I dreaded sitting on the floor at traditional restaurants because I couldn’t crisscross like that. I was just not like my mom.
I remember as a kid, I was always the first one to wake up.
While I watched my TV, almost no distance between me and the TV, my mom would wake
up, come in the living room and do her morning headstand for five minutes or
so. She didn’t exercise like that anymore like she used to, but she never ever
missed a day of headstands. I never understood why as a little girl. Sometimes
I would tease her, try to make her fall and we would laugh. My brother and I
would try to stand on our heads leaning on the wall. I know for a fact I wasn’t
even half way in the pose. I was just not flexible! Silly me, I even thought I
might have been adopted.
If I remember correctly, I was making a list of my resolutions for 2016, and I was reflecting on the past two years; emotional troubles, mental barriers and so on. I lived in Japan which was a beautiful experience but was going through a lot at the time. When you’re going through a heartbreak, your mind can play tricks on you and make you believe you aren’t strong enough; mentally or physically. That was when I decided it was time for me to learn how to do a headstand. I just added it to my list with a checkbox next to the word.
First try was a disaster because I though I was going to break my back. I decided to climb backwards on the wall and just practice a half headstand for a while until my upper body muscles can get stronger. Funny thing was I thought this was all about muscle strength when the real issue was that I never trusted my body enough to let go of my legs. It was purely mental.
After practicing my “half” and “kinda” headstands for seven
months, I decided to ask Google, how to do a headstand. I started placing a
pillow under my head and starting from a childpose and kicking my feet up
against the wall. Boom! There it was. It felt like a headstand for the first
time. Two months into my wall supported headstands, I was mentally able to use
no wall proximity.
I can happily say that headstands transformed my life
because it showed me that I can do just about anything should I practice it
daily and never give up. I was so obsessed with the doing part that I had never
thought about the “whys” I should do a headstand daily. Shortly after, I
realized a headstand is a dose of natural drug. When you come down, you feel
this rush of blood cleansing your entire body. At least that’s the way I felt. I
would get up with a smile on my face for no reason and a feeling of wellness.
I am going to tell you about some of the many health benefits of headstands that are supported by scientific studies and tested by yours truly.
1. Strengthens Your Core
While doing a headstand, you use your core muscles. Stability in that position requires lots of balancing from the core. Your abs and your lower body are completely active. A stronger core means more fat burn and better shape.
2. Flushes the System
Your body has a way of disposing of the toxins daily through the lymphatic system. However, your lymphatic system won’t activate itself unless you exercise for 20 minutes daily or do a headstand. Inversion stimulates the lymphatic system, the garbage disposal system of the body.
3. Helps Hair Regrowth
Many people claim that regular headstands contribute to hair growth and even Alopecia. Turning upside down stimulates blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles which leads to a healthier scalp and hair. Alopecia demands patience so the key is doing headstands religiously and up to two minutes each time.
4. Nourishes Skin
Coming down from a headstand you will notice a natural blush for a few seconds on your cheeks. You will also notice a nice lift on the face. This is because turning upside down delivers blood and other nutrients your skin needs to look young and fresh.
5. Improves Eye Health
One of the many health benefits of headstands concerns our eyes. Just like your scalp and skin, your eyes benefit greatly from headstands. We use our eyes all day until bedtime. A very common problem people complain about is dryness and fatigue in the eyes. Headstands solve this problem. Some people claim headstands improved their vision as well.
6. Relieves Stress
A headstand is a good break from what’s going on in your world. Whether it is heavy work load or an emotional issue, inversion for a maximum of five minutes will reset your mind and refresh your mood. Yogis will tell you headstands help activate your pineal gland, in other words your third eye which is the secret to an improved life. Mindful breathing into the belly in this position will maximize the calming effects of a headstand.
7. Many Mental Health Benefits of Headstands
Every time you turn upside down and balance, you are communicating multiple commands to your brain and executing a set of movements that you don’t repeat very often in a day. This develops a sense of trust in yourself and self-esteem.
8. Improves Digestion
Leftovers stuck in your colon, trapped gas, and more will be moved and forced to go after a proper headstand.
9. Increases Focus and Productivity
Inversion pose does not only deliver blood and other important nutrients to your scalp and eyes. Your brain benefits incredibly from a blood rush. A headstand rejuvenates the brains neurons and helps you think clearly.
DO NOT DO HEADSTANDS IF YOU…
have neck and shoulder problems such as rotator cuff rupture.
have super high blood pressure.
are on your period and it’s effecting your energy.
I hope you go on Google to look up how to do a headstand after you read my post. We should all be our best selves and learn new ways to improve our wellness. Were you inspired by this post? Leave a comment and let me know you stopped by.