The Handstand is a Must Do! Yoga – Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Yes, the Handstand is a Must Do in your Yoga routine! Years ago, when I just started doing yoga exercises, I imagined myself to be able to do the handstand. My goal was that I would be able to stand steady on my hands for a few seconds. In hindsight I can tell you that this has become quite a ‘battle’ that I still fight to this day. That battle started in 2015… and I’m still standing on my hands almost daily.

Handstand in Sanskrit is Adho Mukha Vrksasana.

In those years I have certainly noticed that I am more stable, that I know better how to get on my hands and that I can hold out longer. In the beginning I often didn’t get up far enough and when I was there I fell over or was right back down the same way. So I went to practice against the wall and felt that I couldn’t hold on very long because my breathing stopped or that I had the feeling that my head was filling up with blood and the pressure in it was increasing.

De Handstand- Adho Mukha Vrksasana
I think the first picture of a handstand of me… 2008 – Mexico

I no longer suffer from increased pressure in my head. Also, I can keep breathing… My blood supply is not that big anymore, it is better distributed in my body even though I am standing upside down and so I can stay longer. How beautiful is that! So I can practice longer to find the right position of my body in which I can find balance to stand upright…even if it is upside down…. …to stay upright.

I also noticed in the course of time that my arms can carry my body better. Where in the beginning after a few times standing on my hands I got a trembling sensation in my arms, I can now practice quite long. Unconsciously you train so many muscles and you get quite a lot of strength without me realizing it … Purely because I still hadn’t reached my final goal and so I continued practicing!

A few seconds stable, without rebalancing, standing on my hands!

Why the head or handstand is so good for you!

De Handstand samen met neefje
In 2015 deed ik samen met een neefje in de tuin bij mijn moeder de handstand

Yoga name

Adho Mukha Vrksasana – Shirshasana

Because the handstand is quite difficult I switched halfway to the headstand – Shirshasana. When I heard the right technique from Sunil in India, I had mastered the headstand very quickly. Actually, I can do the headstand anywhere and also have a good balance. I can stand in the position for a long time and I notice that also this position does a lot for the blood circulation (inner) and your upper back/arm muscles.

Why is the handstand so good for you?

You can probably imagine that you use all your muscles to keep standing on your hands. You train your shoulder muscles… your abdominal muscles, your back etc. While practicing, you’re train all those muscles!

Handstand is a must for good / healthy muscles

De Handstand is een Must - Yoga - Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Hoofstand (shirshasana) in the desert of the UAE

It is a full body workout that you can easily do a few times. And that’s why: the handstand is a must in your daily routine. And the best thing about it? You don’t need anything, you can do a handstand anywhere… And if you are a bit uncertain, you can of course make sure there’s a wall behind you that if you fall over, you can rest against it and push yourself back. I often make sure I have enough room to turn around on one side while falling over so I don’t end up on my back or feet. You learn fast enough how to adjust in your fall … as long as you do it or start doing it!

Why is the hand position good for your circulation?

Did you know that many of the problems we can get in our brain have to do with bad blood pressure and hardening of the veins?  Research has shown that your brain activity increases by 14% and that the pressure on the veins in the legs decreases.

De Handstand is een Must - Yoga - Adho Mukha Vrksasana
At the river Regge side, Hellendoorn – The Netherlands

If you stand on your head or hands then of course your circulation is also reversed. The blood pressure changes in your head, neck, shoulders and the rest of your body. Your body reacts to this immediately by absorbing it, by rebalancing the different body systems. Because you ask these systems to react they become active and develop an adaptive capacity to recover.

And what is also a nice fact…
It slows down the aging process of your brain!

Why is that? The blood circulation is restarted from a reverse posture. Because of this change you get a better blood pressure in the brain and there is more room to take in oxygen. It is even claimed that for this reason it also helps to prevent dementia.

The blood pressure in your legs is of course always under tension and in this handstand it is reduced to almost nothing. So your veins in your legs get some rest. Vein calcification is counteracted in this way (change in pressure on the veins and temporary relief) and I read that it can also prevent and/or reduce varicose veins.

The Handstand is a Must

Yoga – Adho Mukha Vrksasana

The handstand – good for your hormone system

Another additional advantage of the head or handstand is that it regulates your hormone system (indocrine system). Just as with the blood circulation, the inversion, by the inverted posture, stimulates your glands to re-adjust. Suppose you are out of balance in your hormonal system then the hormone system could rebalance itself and come out in a better balance.

Advantages of doing the head or handstand are that you observe your thoughts more easily, you become clear in your head and I read that it can be supportive in recovering from depression and / or reduce anxiety.

De Handstand is een Must - Yoga - Adho Mukha Vrksasana
You can take the handstand to the next level… note: I lean with a toe to keep balance against that wood on the right side 🙂

How do you work on your posture in the hand position?

If you’re looking for balance, you’ll stand up straight. You have to make sure you’re one line… Just like you are when you stand on your legs and your hips are straight. If you stand on your hands there are two points where you have to make sure that you stand upright. Namely at the shoulders and hips.

Tip: Take pictures of yourself standing in the handstand. Sometimes you don’t feel what you are doing wrong until you see your posture and can correct it.

Because you make yourself long and use the muscles to get into this correct posture, you train the back and your upper arms. Stretch out and push your shoulders away from your ears by making yourself as long as possible. In this way you also stand more straight.

Handstand is a must
for a healthy body and mind!!

In addition, you have to keep the core of your body in the same balance and you will also train your abdominal muscles. In the headstand I sometimes do abdominal exercises by lowering my legs. You train your upper back and belly to the max! As you read it is a total body workout if you do it right and repeat it a number of times.

I always have the feeling that I have to hold my belly a bit in and push my pubic bone a bit forward (tilt my pelvis a bit) to really stand up straight.

Workout for your wrists, hands and especially your fingers?

The small correction that takes place in your wrists, your hands but also the pushing back of your body with your fingers! This also has an effect on your exercise and thus on your physical condition. You also stimulate a good blood circulation from here on in.

When I once suffered from my elbow, a tennis arm the call it, I got exercises to move my hands/wrists without moving my arm. So arm on the armrest and move your hand. This way I would move the muscles in my forearm and they pull through the elbow which then stimulates the discharge of waste products. This helped me a lot!

During the handstand you’ll do exactly that!!

Even oefenen tijdens een wandeling - Handstand

This exercise might not be good for you

Do you suffer from glaucoma (damaged optic nerve) or osteoporosis (bone decalcification)? Acute migraine? With some neck and shoulder injury. I started just because I had neck problems, my neck muscles were stiff and often stuck – probably due to tension and therefore no physical problems.

Or if you have heart problems you really have to ask yourself if you are not asking too much of your heart.

In addition, from experience I can recommend not to stand upside down during your menstrual period. This stimulates an enormous flow a few hours later… Not nice! On the internet I come across varying messages about this, but my experience is that during this period of the month I skip the handstand or headstand and do other exercises.

You can always try it once to find out for yourself :p

What’s very nice and good about handstand practice?

Enjoy playing around, feel what it does to your body and practice, fall over and get up again.

How often do we roll on the ground because something doesn’t work? How often do you keep doing something like that? In the ‘normal’ adult life outside it’s a disappointment when you fall… When you fall down here, you learn something! You get up again and adjust your posture just a little bit… and fall again. It’s just very good to fall and get up again and again. We don’t do this enough… outside we are less likely to give in to this kind of behaviour and we often play it safe…

De Handstand is een Must - Yoga - Adho Mukha Vrksasana
I don’t spend my breaks on smoking anymore (since 2008)…but sometimes I’m upside down at work!

You feel younger!

Enjoy playing with your body in an active way, just like in the old days! Do a pose, workout, that you probably haven’t done in years. Don’t be silly! They say.. right?

I ask you to do silly!!

We walk often enough on the path that is expected of us in this society!

Do stand on your head or hands!!

See the world from the other side! Who knows, you might just get that one hunch you’ve been brooding on for a long time! The handstand is a must!

By standing upside down you reduce anxiety and stress, so that you are in a calm and relaxed position. This gives you room to think, to fantasize and to give other thoughts the place to stimulate you again to look at situations from a different perspective.

How nice is that! It makes you enthusiastic, doesn’t it?

I hope I have motivated you to do the handstand or headstand as well.
Step out of the pattern of your daily life for a moment and stand upside down!

Mijn plekje in de woonkamer - Yoga - Adho Mukha Vrksasana
My attic is my training room but there is also a yoga mat in the living room so I can always stand on my hands or on my head.

How do you make a start on a headstand?

I understand that it can be a bit difficult to get into that headstand and so I share a video of the John Schumacher. The channel is called iHanuman Yoga Media! He explains step by step how to get into the headstand. I always smuggle a little bit because I also put my hands partly under my head and thus protect my head a bit more against the ground….

Go practise the headstand and see his sirsasana clip!!

If you have any questions or remarks about the head or handstand, please let me know! If you want to practice together, I am definitely open to that! Please contact me via one of the social channels where you can find me! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or here.

Want to read more about what I shared about Yoga?

3 weeks in a Yoga Ashram in Pushkar – 200RYT course

Pranayama – How should we correctly Breathe

Yoga and walking the Camino

Enjoy this Moment .. Path to Happiness

I also did the 10 day Vipassana meditation course several times … So helpfull! Read about that first time I reported to the center in Chennai – India for 10 days.

Impressive 10 days Noble Silence – Vipassana

I hope you enjoy this world as much as I do!