WHY do we give up the art of play in our fitness as we get older? I can tell you that you’re never too old for handstands. Inversion poses, aside from being great for taking the weight off your feet and see the world upside down, have amazing health benefits:
1. Improves circulation – bringing blood flow back towards the heart and the head.
2. Reduces stress – by increasing circulation and taking the weight off your joints the body can relax and the mind often can also be brought into a more relaxed and meditative state.
3. Improves core toning and strengthening
4. Allows internal organs to rebalance
5. Reverses the load on joints
6. Improves post workout recovery by reducing lactic acid build-up
7. Strengthens arms, shoulders and back
8. Improves digestion
9. Improves confidence – mastering inversion poses and working on your ability to perform different exercises is fantastic for your confidence.
But safety first. Headstands, shoulder stands and handstands without a wall or support structure are an advanced move and should not be attempted alone and without experience.
Furthermore, there is no greater area to be cautious about than your neck, head and spine – so learning inversion poses should be done with trusted yoga teachers in a safe environment, on an even surface and should not be rushed.
There are different forms of poses that qualify as inversion (or upside down). A few examples are:
-Half inversion poses are where the legs are supported or at a 90 degree angle, for example.
You might also like to try other activities involving inversion, such as yoga, Fighter Jet aerobatics, or hanging upside down off a jungle gym or trapeze.
The biggest challenge most people need to overcome is the fear of falling. When we get older we tend to become more fearful or hesitant of some dynamic types of movement.
So why not try being a kid again? Let go and trust in your body. You’ll be surprised by what you are capable of.
Nikki Fogden-Moore is a vitality coach. Visit www.thevitalitycoach.com.au.
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