You Don't Need To Do A Headstand To Reap The Benefits Of Going Upside Down!
Health and Wellness

You Don't Need To Do A Headstand To Reap The Benefits Of Going Upside Down!

Three easy-to-do poses that will get the blood flowing.

38
You Don't Need To Do A Headstand To Reap The Benefits Of Going Upside Down!
One Love Yoga

I have been standing on my head, turning out cartwheels, and kicking my feet into the air every since I was young. My mother basically had to put me into gymnastics so I could flail my body around somewhere other than our house. I'd use my bed as a trampoline, the couch arms as supports for back flipping and pretty much every wall to help my legs defy gravity. As I got older my doctor told me I had to quit gymnastics due to many torn ligaments. I was devastated, I felt lost. But overall, I didn't want to stop turning upside down.

Thankfully, yoga helped solve this issue. I was able to rehab my torn body and in no time perform inversions again. I still like to put my self upside down everyday, it's fun, it's freeing but I've also learned that it is good for you!

An article written for Steth News gives us eight reasons to flip the body upside down: it helps eliminate toxins, improve focus, relieve stress, boosts sex drive, improves indigestion, improves skin, builds strength, and decreases the chance of ischemic stroke (a stroke caused by lack of blood flow to the brain). All of these benefits happen because by putting one's head below the heart it reverses the blood direction, switching the way everything normally runs. It's good to invert for a little bit each day. It's like how runners sometimes run backwards as a cross-training tool — the body likes to switch things up — it gives a nice reset to the whole system.

As a yoga teacher myself, when I tell my students how good it is for the head to be upside down, they usually reply with,"But I can't do a headstand/handstand." Well good news, you don't need to! I am going to list some more attainable poses that switch up the blood flow and let your head drop and explaining how to do them!

1. Down Dog

Ahh, yes, probably the most popular yoga pose and for good reason. Down dog alleviates pressure in the back, stretches the hamstrings, activates the whole body and... easily allows you to go upside down! How to: Start in a high push up position, with the hand directly under the shoulders and your feet hip width. Lift the hips into the sky and let your head hang heavy as you gaze through your feet or thighs. Make sure to spread all ten fingers wide and allow space between the head and shoulders. Press back into your heels but no need to force them down on the mat, as it is bad to hyperextend the knees. Breathe here for as long as you'd like!

2. Forward Fold

A standing forward fold is a nice way to let the head hang loose and see the world from a new perspective without having to balance on your hands. Again since the head is dropped here, you get all the amazing benefits that inversions bring from the reverse blood flow. It can be done so easily, you can try it almost anywhere! (Although be prepared for strange looks from people who stand right side up all day long, their less oxygenated brains may not be able to fully understand your need to invert). How to: Start standing tall, feet hip distance as you ground into all four corners of both feet. Make sure again to have a micro bend in the knees as you fold forward, allowing the hips to stay directly over the ankles. At this point let your head drop heavy and you can have your hands on the floor for a little support or as pictured, wrap them behind your legs. Allow your eyes to look between the lower legs as it strains the neck if you look at your toes in this pose. For an even deeper feeling close the eyes and try to let your upper body hang.

3. Bridge

Bridge pose is a great pose that is usually offered towards the end of class. It opens up the heart chakra and helps alleviate lower back pain. A nice modification for this pose is to have a block under the lower back to support you. How to: Start by having knees and feet hip distance apart. Push into the two feet and lift the hips high while keeping the upper back and head grounded. You can leave the arms down by your side on the mat or like pictured, hold them together to allow the shoulder blades to grow closer and to lift the chest higher. Once hips are up make sure to not look side to side as it may irritate the neck.


I hope these poses help those who are wary of inversions and turning upside down. And for those you do perform headstands and handstands feel free to try these poses as well, it will only help you become stronger for the more complex inversions. If you are looking for a quick, natural way to clear the head, get the blood flowing, build strength and improve overall health than an inversion may need to be a part of your daily routine. Don't let your inner kid die, go on and let your head down!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments