Can you think of a time when you felt the most free-spirited? For many of us, that is when we were children. Think about when you were a young child, probably between the ages of four to six years old.
You had absolutely no care in the world and life was at your fingertips! You could play all day, run fast, flip over upside down, do cart wheels — all because you had no fear—or because you just did whatever felt good at that moment.
Wouldn’t you like to recapture that feeling, even for just a short time? Or possibly, for longer?
I believe you can. I myself have recaptured that moment and do so each and every day…With handstands.
Freedom from Fear
I am notorious for popping into a handstand in the middle of a store, or on the street, at a park, at a friend’s house. Yes, I get a ton of stares, but it doesn’t bother me. Handstands are my three to five second-break that it is not about the world, but about me living in that moment and losing all fear.
When I am upside down, I feel childlike, free, and full of life’s promises and ambition. These feelings translate into real world, real life accomplishments and feelings of pure joy and energy throughout my day.
As a yoga instructor, I’m passionate about enriching the lives of others, and so I incorporate handstands into my classes every day. I want others to feel the true freedom of losing themselves without fear in a handstand moment.
Handstands require you to have enough balance to stay upright against the forces of gravity—you can’t get a better ‘full body workout’ than that. Here are several physical benefits of a good ol’ handstand.
1. Strengthens Core Muscles
Sounds crazy, but you can get ultra-toned abs by standing bottom side-up on your hands. Core strength is essential to staying upright.
2. Strengthens Wrists and Arms
Handstands use your body as a weight, working out your shoulders, arms, and wrists. Strong wrists and arms can help prevent future injuries and arthritis.
3. Decompresses the Spine
Handstands combat the effects of poor posture. It makes you feel great after you have had a long day at the office and have been on your feet all day.
4. Calms the Brain, Helps Relieve Stress and Mild Depression
The rush of blood and oxygen to the head from being upside down reduces stress and elevates your mood, creating a calming and energizing effect in your mind and body.
5. Stimulates the Thyroid
This inversion ushers blood back into the thyroid gland as well, helping stimulate and regulate the metabolism.
6. Strengthens the Chest, Shoulders, Back, and Neck
Preparing for and sustaining a handstand works out not only your core but also the pectoralis major of the chest, the anterior and posterior deltoids of the shoulders, and the latissimus and trapezius muscles in the back.
7. Improves Your Sense of Balance
To keep defying gravity and stay bottom side-up in a handstand, you’ll have to keep making subtle adjustments in the different muscle groups you’re engaging.
8. Provides Natural “Botox”
All the blood and oxygen that rushes to your head during a handstand improves the blood circulation and toning process in the face naturally, helping reverse visible signs of aging.
There you have it—ample proof that If people did a handstand every day, the world would be a much better, happier, more vibrant place!
Do you agree with this list? What other positive effects have you noticed from doing handstands frequently? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credit: Jenny Dean