(NaturalNews) As children, we seem to spend as much time as possible with our heads down and feet up. Whether it's hanging upside down on furniture, in trees or on monkey bars, or doing cartwheels, handstands or headstands, children just seem to love to be upside down. But as we age and become "mature" adults, most of us leave this practice behind - much to our detriment! Wisdom accumulated over thousands of years of yoga practice tells us that inverted poses such as the headstand provide many health benefits and that daily practice of headstands can help keep us younger, fitter and healthier. It would appear that, as young children, we are born with some innate knowledge of what is good for us.
The headstand is King
The headstand is referred to as the "King" of all yoga poses (known as asanas), because it provides so many benefits for those who practice it regularly. It is said to increase the masculine qualities of mental clarity, mental sharpness and will power as well as having a calming, relaxing and rejuvenating effect on the body.
Regular practice of headstands also:
Builds core and upper body strength. Abdominal muscles, arms, legs, back, shoulders and neck are all strengthened.
Benefits the endocrine system by increasing blood flow to the pituitary and hypothalamus, improving their function. Because these are the master glands in the body, this creates a cascade effect improving the function of thyroid, adrenals and other glands.
Benefits the cardiac system due to the effects of gravity being reversed while the body is inverted. This gives the heart a break from pumping blood up to the brain and improves circulation.
Benefits the digestive system by cleansing, massaging and improving tone and function of the internal organs. These benefits again are due (in part) to the reversal of the effects of gravity.
Provides a natural face-lift, reducing wrinkles and increasing circulation to the skin on the face.
Allows us to get in touch with the child within. We get to see the world from a different perspective while conquering our fear of losing control.
Promotes a feeling of lightness and well-being.
Boosts the immune system and promotes good health.
Increases brain function and has anti-aging effects on both brain and body.
Creates heat in the body.
Assists with lymph drainage from the legs and feet.
The benefits of headstands are many and varied and have stood the test of time through many thousands of years of practice. However, if you plan to take up this simple but beneficial exercise, always make sure that you learn to do headstands with a qualified yoga teacher and ensure that you perform headstands safely.
About the author: Sue Woledge is a natural therapist, writer and owner of Love, light & lessons: Living well in the 21st century. Sue is passionate about living well, eating REAL food and choosing safe, environmentally friendly products. Sue believes that living as naturally as possible and being mindful our thoughts and actions can reduce the impact we have on others and the planet and is key to good health and a brighter future for all. A number of books written by Sue Woledge including her latest raw food recipe book are available here.