If you haven’t noticed yet, we’ve been spending a lot of time upside down this month. The plan for August is “Project Inverted” and will get us upside down and on our hands three days per week. Our goal is to build our confidence on our hands and to improve our body awareness in unexpected situations. This valuable skill set is often a weakness for many.
Many of you may be asking why we do this? Are there any benefits? When will I ever use this in real life? There are many reasons to improve your handstand. For starters, getting inverted will improve the overall strength in your upper body, as well as, in your core. During a handstand, the upper body and arms are forced to support all of your body weight and stabilize it in an upright position. The core is strengthened over time because it has no choice but to engage and provide stability to balance the body overhead. It will even improve your wrist and grip strength. Many people break their wrist and can do some serious damage from a simple trip and fall in every day life. Improving your wrist strength could in turn save you from a long-lasting injury due to a clumsy moment.
Have you ever dropped from a handstand and felt like all your blood had rushed to you head? Well, it probably did, but that’s not a bad thing. Handstands and headstands increase blood flow to your head, brain and scalp. This can help improve mental function and a sense of focus. After all, you definitely need to be “focused” to stay upside down. Some people notice a reduction in anxiety because it requires your mind to focus on that one thing, rather than everything going on in life.
There are also studies that have shown handstand holds to improve digestion, stimulate the lymphatic system, decrease fluid build-up in the lower body, amongst many other things. Why do you think Yogis are always spending time upside down? Because it’s super beneficial!
So next time, project inverted is part of the skill session or the cool down in class, let’s get up side down!! There’s your hump day wisdom for the week!