Spending more time upside down through yoga inversions can deliver serious health benefits.
When I first tried yoga I just couldn’t imagine being upside down. I thought handstands and headstands were things that you did as a kid on the playground, not in a yoga studio. Today, I couldn’t imagine life without being upside down nearly every day. At least five days per week I do headstand for 40 breaths and shoulder stand for 40 breaths.
Here’s why why you should try life upside down too:
1. Improved circulation
Getting upside down improves circulation. Yoga inversions reverse blood flow and provide the brain with fresh oxygenated blood which increases mental function, concentration, memory, and processing abilities.
2. Healthier lung tissue
By compressing the lungs and continuing to breath while you’re upside down, you stimulate the lung tissue through continual deep breathing. This is especially true of the shoulder stand.
3. Improved immune health
The lymphatic system is responsible for waste removal, fluid balance, and immune system response. It’s basically the body’s sewage system. Inversions stimulate the lymphatic system to remove waste thus improving your immune health.
4. Stimulate cranial health
By putting intense pressure on the top of the head in headstand, you stimulate the production of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles of the brain. CSF acts as a cushion or buffer for the cortex of the brain.
5. Improved balance
It’s all about finding that perfect point of balance in a yoga inversion. Inversions show you that you can be weightless at the balance point and allow you to continually work toward finding that point.
6. Calming the nervous system
Cooling inversions like ‘Legs Up The Wall’ and shoulder stand activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and help to calm your nerves. The parasympathetic system slows the heart rate and relaxes the nervous system.
7. Builds confidence
How could you not be confident just by knowing that you can stand on your head? For obvious reasons, being upside down reminds us that we can do whatever we set our minds to, no matter how far off your goal may seem.
8. They energize the body
Heating inversions like handstand and headstand energize your body and mind. If you’re feeling tired in the late afternoon and you need a mental and physical boost, just turn upside down1
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