YD HandstandIt’s no secret that yoga can improve your health and it’s regularly recommended for reducing stress, and yesterday, I needed that release. I was suffering a fair old case of the blues and couldn’t think of anything else that would snap me out of this funk like yoga does.

As well as the overall health benefits of getting upside down, I love the child like quality of playing around, standing on my hands.

Yoga inversions may make you think of gymnastic-like poses such as Handstand or Forearm Stand, but any pose that has you put your head below your heart is classified as an inversion (think downward facing dog or a simple loose forward fold). It may take a bit of courage to get upside down, but it does provide a host of health benefits. And until you’re ready, poses such as legs up the wall variation of shoulder stand have a whole host of benefits too.

Reversing the effects of gravity and flushing the brain with oxygenated blood, provides the perfect breeding ground for creating those natural “happy” chemicals in our brains the ones that amongst other characteristics, regulate mood, emotion, sleep, appetite, attention and focus.

By bringing awareness to the body through our practice (including breath, meditation and playful postures like handstand), we increase our vitality, energy and mental clarity, which in turn creates a ripple-effect into the rest of our lives.

Inversions aren’t for everyone, however. Check with your yoga teacher and doctor if you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure, glaucoma or epilepsy, which are contraindicated for yoga inversions.

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