Handstands – new hype or a real thing?
Is handstand something of a hype and new trend on Instagram or is there more to it than snazzy selfies? Aside from bringing out your inner kid and just being plain fun to do, there are actually several ways handstands can benefit your health, especially if you do them on a daily basis. Handstand is an impressive skill that demonstrates a high level of strength and control. Handstands improve your overall strength, body control, and spatial awareness.
Not only will handstands make you strong and help improve your balancing abilities, handstands can also make you feel happier, since the blood flow to your brain affects mental clarity and awareness; it has an energizing and calming effect, especially when you’re feeling really stressed out.
But before jumping right into a handstand there are a few things to consider though.
BUILD MUSCLE STRENGTH
In order to stay upside down for any length of time, you’ll need a massive amount of strength. The two areas that will take the brunt of the force when you’re upside down are your wrists and your shoulders. Before you stack your entire bodyweight directly on your shoulders and wrists you’ll have to make sure these joints are good and ready to handle handstand training. Since staying upside down forces you to stabilize your muscles, you need a super strong core, as well as other key muscle groups such as your hip flexors, hamstrings, inner thigh muscles.
Once you have your foundation in place, the handstand changes. It’s no longer a strength training – it becomes a skill training.
There are a variety of ways to get into handstand including using a wall for security. Start with a wall plank. With your feet on the wall, and walking your hands a little closer every time gradually loads your hands and shoulders with more of your bodyweight.
Even if you get into consistent handstand practice, you still need to get over the fear of falling. By practicing falling, tucking the head, and rolling, helps the body learn a safe response to falling.
Efficient breaths integrated in to the pose that do not disrupt the delicate balance and stabilize the movement of the spine allow the practitioner to hold the pose for longer periods of time.
Handstands are a well-known remedy as a mood-elevator. Handstands can make you feel happier, since the increased blood flow to your brain is linked to stress release and reduced depression. Handstand also brings blood to the adrenal glands to help reduce production of cortisol, the “stress hormone”. Additionally, the reversed flow of blood in the legs and visceral regions aids in tissue regeneration. The weight of the abdominal organs on the diaphragm promotes a deeper exhalation which increases the amount of carbon dioxide that is removed from the lungs. Handstands also require the chest to open while inverted and sends energy from the root chakra to the crown chakra. Specifically, this pose affects mental clarity and awareness.
Training handstands every day has so many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits – believe it or not, practising handstands can help you connect to your higher self, and to the divine energy of the universe
TIPS TO GET STARTED WITH A HANDSTAND: