Here at YOGANONYMOUS, we are mildly (ok, severely) addicted to handstands…
The below article from Livestrong.com discusses the some of the incredible benefits of handstanding!
Overview: When a yoga teacher tells her class it’s time for inversions, it can send students scurrying to the bathroom or wherever else they can possibly hide. Inversions can be intimidating, and handstands are no exception. The thought of going upside down, and subsequently falling, keeps the feet of many yoga practitioners glued to the ground. However, along with being fun, handstands actually offer certain physical, mental and medicinal benefits.
Free Spirit: Handstands can help awaken the free spirit inside of you. People often become so bogged down with responsibilities from work and family that they forget how to have fun. Working your way through the poses and sequences during a yoga practice can bring out your inner child; inversions can call up your sense of adventure. When a student finally masters a handstand, with or without the assistance of a teacher, he is usually smiling and commenting on how fun the pose actually was.
Conquer Challenges: Handstands help you to recognize and go after challenges. Handstands can be scary if you’ve never done one; the first step in attempting a handstand is actually in dealing with the fear and putting it into perspective, “Women’s Health” magazine notes — and if you fail and don’t make it into a full handstand, it really is no big deal. This is similar to challenges in your life that occur off the yoga mat. As with trying to do a handstand, you can break the challenge down into small parts and understand that even if you do not meet your goals, it was worth the attempt.
Strength: Like most yoga poses, handstands can help to build lean muscle mass in your body, which will increase your strength and endurance while also helping your metabolism to function properly. Handstands require strength in your core, glutes, back, shoulders and arms; practicing or attempting to master a handstand will help to work and build these muscles, “Yoga Journal” magazine notes. You may very likely notice that once these areas of your body are strengthened, handstands become much easier to execute.
Medicinal: All inversions provide numerous medicinal benefits and handstands are no exception. Hanging out upside down offers physical benefits such as decompressing the spine, improving your circulation and boosting your digestion, metabolic and endocrine system. Handstands also provide a sense of balance as they calm the brain, which can seem contradictory to many considering the anxiety that attempting them causes. However, once they are mastered, you may find handstands to be quite soothing.