Hanging upside down in headstand for 5 minutes every day gives your neck and spine a much needed rest! A consistent headstand practice helps you age gracefully and defends against chronic disease and cardiovascular illness. Yogis have been standing on their heads for millennia, and scientific evidence confirms that people who practice headstands regularly are rarely the victims of cardiovascular events such as ischemic stroke. Read on for more headstand benefits, as well as alternatives if headstand is not yet within your physical reach.
Boost Circulation and Re-Oxygenate
Hanging upside down in headstand works with, rather than against, gravity. Blood flows in the opposite direction, flushing your skin with nutrients, which is why your cheeks are always touched with a healthy glow after just a few minutes in headstand. This boost of blood flow and nutrients to the scalp may even help prevent gray hair…and help reverse the grays you already have!
Headstand also gives your heart a break so that it doesn’t have to work so hard pumping blood up into the brain. In headstand, your brain enjoys an influx of oxygen, thereby improving cognitive ability, concentration and memory. Blood also flows more easily from the extremities and into the heart.
Headstand helps improve and regulate hormones. Spend 5 minutes in headstand, and you direct blood flow to your master glands—the pituitary and hypothalamus, which control all the other glands in the body, including the thyroid, pineal, and adrenal glands. Even your sex hormones benefits! And, detoxifying those adrenal glands helps to activate positive thoughts and alleviate depression.
Speaking of detox, hanging upside down helps drain the colon and intestines of congested blood, thereby purifying the body of toxins. Headstand also helps drain retained fluid from the feet so that you don’t have to worry about developing varicose veins.
Of course, headstand provides muscular benefit by strengthening your core muscles, particularly your obliques, rectus abdominus, and transverse abdominus muscles. Engaging your core in this manner every day helps keep your body strong and healthy throughout your life.
Headstand isn’t for everyone. If you have neck injuries, ear or eye problems, high blood pressure, or epilepsy, it’s best not to practice headstands. You can gain similar benefits from gentler inversion poses, such as yoga’s downward facing down or standing forward folds. You can also hang upside down on an inversion table, which lets your neck fall free. Inversion therapy with an inversion table also helps relieve compression of the spine, perfect for those with back and neck injuries.