Benefits of Handstand Practice
A popular fitness trend circulating today is ditching the traditional gym equipment and replacing those conventional workouts with body weight movement training. Body weight training are becoming popular not only to fitness trainers but to everyday gym goers. Body weight training can be fun and challenging at the same time. Depending on your workout routine, body weight exercises can be a full body workout to improve your strength, balance, mobility, coordination and stamina.
There are all kinds of body weight training and exercises. Today, we will explore one of the most feared and challenging body weight exercise: handstand and hand balancing. A handstand is performed by placing both your hands on the ground while balancing your body vertical position and keeping your legs straight pointing towards the sky.
Before we dig deep into the dynamics of handstand practice and the benefits it offers, handstand practice is difficult and for most practitioners it takes years of practice before they achieve a perfect inversion. Many of us may encounter the fear of being upside down so it does keep a lot of people from performing this exercise. Handstand practice requires a lot of balancing training while being inverted for long periods of time. Therefore, there will be a reverse of blood flow in your body so any one who previously has suffered or are currently suffering any brain injuries, spinal problems and high blood pressure, you should not be performing any handstand or inverted exercises. If you have any concerns, it is always best to consult your doctor and physician first before starting your handstand journey.
Performing a Handstand (An Introductory Guide)
Start by performing a downward facing dog position. Slowly walk your legs towards your hands until your upper body is nearly vertical. Using your dominant leg, slightly bend the knee and kick your legs up into a vertical position. Keep your whole body extended and find the balance and perfect body alignment by using your wrist, shoulder and core strength.
(Remember this is only an introductory guide, please consult a yoga or handstand practitioner before trying to perform a handstand)
Here are a few tips and tricks to perform a Handstand for beginners:
- For beginners, always start off with the support of a wall
- Perform on a surface where your hands can firmly grip the ground.
- Find a space with plenty of room so when you do fall, you have enough space to land your feet without hitting anything.
- We always recommend find a training partner so you can both observe your postures and supervise any potential hazards.
- Focus on finding the balance of your entire body, find the body and mind connection
- Pay attention to your core strength to further enhance your balance
- Be patient because perfecting a handstand posture usually take years and every handstand practitioner will tell you this from their experience
- Do not practice being inverted with a full stomach
- If you start feeling light headed, lie down and take a few deep breaths to relax your mind and body. Do no sit or stand up immediately as you may lose balance.
- We highly recommend avoiding full inversion practices if you’re pregnant, have or had any heart conditions or high blood pressure
Benefits of Handstand Practice
The one benefit of performing a handstand is most people will tell you that it looks really cool (especially on your social media profile)! But did you know that there are plenty of health benefits associated to handstand training?
- Improves Blood Flow - While inverted, the blood supply reverses to help with purification of your blood and better circulation
- Builds Wrist and Shoulder Strength – To perform a handstand, it is important to build strength and mobility on your wrists and shoulders for a perfect alignment. You will start to realise that your wrist and shoulder strength is key to finding the perfect inverted alignment
- Improves your balance and coordination– trying to balance and coordinate your body while inverted is definitely a challenge. While inverted, it creates a different sense of body awareness in an unfamiliar way
- Improves Core Strength – Even when we stand up straight with a perfect posture, we need to activate the core. Being inverted while keeping a perfect handstand posture will require a lot more core work than standing with your feet.
- Improves concentration and mental focus – Anyone who has tried performing a handstand will tell you it’s challenging and it takes a lot of concentration and mental focus to be upside down. Remember to be patient and persistent!
- Great form of meditation – While inverted and incorporating conscious breathing to your handstand practice, you can focus on your mind and body awareness for a calming and relaxing effect
- Supporting and training the nervous system - switching between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, from a “flight or fight response” because of fear and anxiety while inverted, to “rest and digest response” when finding the right calmness and balance between the mind and body
- A New Dimension – Our consciousness is built on what we currently see and our past experiences. Start seeing life in a new perspective because while you’re upside down, there are always new perception on life
Handstand Accessories to help with your inversion practice
At Erthe Life, we aim to simplify the path to conscious living through Yoga, Movement and Breath. Handstand practice is a big part of our body weight movement training. We offer a range of eco-friendly handstand accessories to help improve and assist in your handstand journey. All our handstand accessories are professionally designed in Australia and tested by handstand practitioners and yoga teachers.
Check out our latest Handstand Accessories and start your handstand journey today!