The #1 Yoga Pose: Learn The 9 Health Benefits of Headstands

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As far as calisthenics go, one doesn’t simply do a headstand pose to impress the ladies.

Crowned as the king of yoga asanas, headstands provide a wide array of benefits, from strengthening your upper body and muscles to even aiding your digestion system and enhancing your mood.

Don’t believe us? Then keep reading as we go further into detail about the benefits of headstands!

Headstand Health Benefits: Real or Just a Hoax?

With so many positive effects surrounding inversions or this yoga asana, you might be wondering: Is it all true or just a ploy to bring people into the headstand fad?

Health Benefits of Headstands
Benefits of Headstands

There are plenty of reasons why people have doubts.

Hearing things like improved blood circulation, blood pressure reversal, enhanced central nervous system, and even providing more nutrients to hair follicles and regulating your hypothalamus glands all sound too good to be true.

However, inversions are also part of an Ayurveda practice – an earth-based holistic medicine originally developed in India.

Perhaps your yoga teacher mentioned it, or maybe he/she didn’t. Ayurveda has what we call the seven chakra system.

This system refers to several energy points in your body and, when practiced, can stimulate a wide array of positive effects even science cannot fully explain.

Inversions are part of Ayurveda that provide profound health benefits, as mentioned in this article. To learn more, this may help.

Who Shouldn’t Do a Headstand?

If you’re still a beginner or new to a headstand practice, take note it’s an advanced yoga technique that requires yoga teachers or an instructor to guide you. You can also use a yoga headstand bench to help with your headstand poses.

Not everyone should do a headstand, depending on the conditions. People who shouldn’t do headstands include:

  1. Pregnant women
  2. Those with cardiovascular problems
  3. If you have a neck, head, or back injury
  4. People with high blood pressure or have glaucoma.
  5. People with arthritis, osteoporosis, and suffer from migraines

9 Health Benefits of Headstands That Boost Your Wellness

Note: Men and women over the age of 40 can greatly benefit from headstands

1. Develops Upper-Body Strength & Core Strength

Upper body and core strength

Let’s start with the obvious, shall we?

There are several reasons to support this benefit. When doing a headstand, your forearms and shoulders carry the most weight.

As a result, holding this position for an extended period of time leads to a stronger upper body & enhanced body strength.

Furthermore, engaging your core muscles while in a headstand position adds even more endurance to your body.

2. Lowers Fluid Build-Up In Your Ankles, Feet, & Legs

Ankles, Feet and Legs Fluid

Let’s talk about Edema.

Edema happens when you spend long hours on your feet. The result? Blood vessels in your legs build up water and leak a fluid called Edema. Believe us; it’s not fun at all.

Performing a headstand pose reverses gravity’s effects, thereby flushing out any built-up water in your legs.

Not only will a headstand posture make you feel light on your feet, but it also reduces the uncomfortable feeling of Edema overall.

3. Improves Blood Circulation to Your Brain

brain blood circulation

You might think reversing blood flow to your brain would be a bad idea.

It’s normal for most people to see it this way at first.

The truth is, reversing your blood flow allows your body to draw oxygenated blood to areas that don’t receive it as easily, like your brain.

The improved blood circulation not only delivers more oxygen to your body but also flows more easily to the extremities of your heart. This study proves why.

4. Enhances Posture & Reduces Back Pain

Backpain relief

Even though you stand tall with your back upright, aren’t you the slightest bit curious about what it’s like to stand tall upside down?

Of course, you still have to make sure your body is in complete alignment.

Otherwise, arching your back upside down spells all sorts of trouble for your head, neck, spine, and back.

Following complete alignment, this erect posture upside down strengthens your back and pumps blood into the soft tissues lining your spine, giving you the following benefits:

  • Neutral buoyancy in your pelvis
  • Better balance
  • An abundant supply of oxygen and nutrients to relieve stiffness.
  • Improve your back’s flexibility & mobility

5. Regulates Your Hormones and Sleep

improve sleep

As far as back muscles and core muscles go, not all benefits of yoga headstands apply only to physical areas in your body.

Headstands or inversions are a form of inversion therapy that does a lot more than simply toning your arms and making you appear “buff.”

So here’s something you might not have heard about inversions: Standing on your head increases activity to your pineal glands and pituitary glands.

Since your pineal gland produces melatonin, this also helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. The same goes for your pituitary gland, which regulates your growth and development.

6. Boosts Lymphatic System

lymphatic system opt

Inversions stimulate your lymphatic system, responsible for ridding your body of any toxins and waste products.

In simpler terms, reversing gravity drains lymph’s effects and blood from the legs to help relieve lymphatic congestion.

7. Heals Your Hair

Heals hair

Not what you were expecting?

Believe it or not, poor circulation & blood flow can influence hair loss since an insufficient supply stops your hair roots from receiving adequate nutrients.

Since inversions increase blood supply to your scalp or head, this will help deliver extra nutrients and oxygen to your scalp.

Although there’s no scientific evidence to support this, yogis mentioned how it could heal your hair through consistent practice.

In fact, some even mentioned a headstand pose could increase blood flow to your face and help your skin glow!

8. Aids in Digestion

improve digestion

We’re not saying inversions can improve your digestion system by a lot, but then again, it’s one of the health benefits Ayurveda explains here.

So how does this enhanced digestive ability happen?

Ayurvedic medicine suggests it’s mostly linked to your third chakra or solar plexus – a psychological effect of performing a headstand.

Science-wise, the effects of reversing gravity stimulate your intestines and can even help the colon release congested blood.

9. Enhances Your Mood & Stress Relief

stress relief opt

We’re sure you’re well aware that exercise releases hormones such as dopamine, melatonin, and serotonin.

If you do a full-blown workout, the effects are even stronger.

Performing a headstand is similar to a workout session, and although it’s more static than a dynamic session like HIIT, you’re still training your muscles, core, and breathing.

All of these collectively relieve stress, put you in a better mood, and increase focus.

Final Words

Before trying out a headstand pose or posture you see online, seek advice from a doctor first.

If you can, take a yoga class and have a yoga instructor guide you throughout the process. Bear in mind that a headstand’s risks can outweigh the positive effects if done incorrectly.

Yoga postures and asanas like headstands can relieve stress and come with many positive effects, but it always helps prioritize safety above all.

Dr. Sandra Johnson received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Cornell University. She then went on to graduate studies at New York University before attending Rice University School of Medicine, where she graduated with an M.D. degree. She completed her training in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for internship and residency programs. Dr. Johnson went on to Harvard University in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, completing her residency program. Dr. Johnson is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.