If you happen to follow me on Instagram (@kirstywelshpt) you’ll be hard-pressed to find a week go by without a happy handstand photo.
I love handstands. As a kid who grew up devoted to dancing and calisthenics, I used to ignore poor Noni and John on Play School and instead practice my handstands in front of the telly. Unless How I Met Your Mother is on now 20 odd years later, I would say the inclination is fairly similar.
I’ve noticed that wherever I do them, the reactions from others are always the same; they laugh, they offer compliments and appreciation, and best of all they are inspired to become just that bit fitter, stronger and more physically able. The best part of this is there is no envy, there is no jealousy; there are only good vibes and heightened motivation by both parties to challenge our bodies further.
So why do people have this reaction? If I was to do a really cool lunge with some sort of fancy dumbbell upper body twist, would it be the same?? Or if I was to sit in perfect splits on the ground?? Nope… no way!
Being upside-down gets us out of our comfort zone, yes!! Being upside-down not only gives us courage for combating our fears, it also makes us see things from another perspective, literally and metaphorically. Being upside-down shuts up our dominant, regulated left-brain for a shiny moment of right-brain creativity. It’s like our mind doesn’t know what’s going on… “whaaaaat why are my feet above my head??!” Here’s the coolest part… being upside-down for others to see also awakens their own inner child, encourages playful thoughts, switches off the worries and stresses for the day for that beautiful moment and infuses positivity and clarity forward for the following events and activities of the day. Yes, I truly love handstands.
In yogi speak, a handstand is an inversion, meaning the head is below the heart. Before I even knew the proper benefits of inversions, I just knew I loved being upside down. Headstands and handstands make me feel way more alert. My circulation goes through the roof, I feel completely energised straight away and I feel as though they actually open up my upper back and chest, decompressing the spine. Oddly enough, I find it also helps with digestion and de-bloating. Massive win in my books.
After some research, there was even cooler info on the matter; being upside actually increases immunity and prevents illness by stimulating our lymphatic system! Yep, true story! Another article suggested that inversions also help to shift toxins from our legs; I’m yet to be aware of such a change in my body, but excited to know it for myself.
Of course, if you are suddenly inspired to give it a righteous crack, just be sure you are physically ready to do so; do you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, neck injury, detached retina or epilepsy?? If you are unsure, definitely go for a health check with your doctor and discuss your concerns. With clearance to try, start to build strength by kicking your feet up against a wall and trying to increase the time you can hold a supported handstand before freestylin’ it!
Give it a go!! Shake your world upside down.
Be healthy & happy, always!
#handstandaddict #ilovehandstands #jointhefun