Doing a yoga headstand can provide a lot of benefits to an individual that practices it regularly. A lot of long-term yoga practitioners often suffer from neck pain or injury because of doing a headstand. In this article, we will answer the question, “are headstands bad for you?” Stick around and find out whether this asana is perfect for you to practice regularly or not.
Benefits of Doing Yoga Headstands
Yoga headstand is one of the most popular poses in yoga and has many benefits when done correctly. Here are some it can offer:
- It helps improve blood circulation and allows the heart to rest from pumping blood to and from the feet back to the heart continuously.
- It provides a lot of nutrients to the head, making a face have that glowing, youthful look.
- Regular practice helps improve an individual’s mood.
- It also helps boost an individual’s confidence level. Doing a headstand is not that easy and can be pretty challenging to master. Once you can do it regularly, you can feel really good about yourself.
Dangers of Practicing Headstands
While there are benefits of doing a headstand, you can’t help yourself to ask, “are headstands bad for you?” A yoga headstand, when done incorrectly, can pose dangers to a person. Here are some of them:
- The neck’s 7th vertebrae are the smallest among the vertebrae in an individual’s spine. It is designed only to hold the weight of a person’s head. Some individuals have heavy heads, and there are tendencies for them to suffer from neck tension and chronic pain.
- Headstands are done with the head off the floor. An individual must lean on their forearms and shoulders and not on their heads.
- Individuals who have no idea how to do the headstands properly usually do not have strong shoulder and back muscles, so they tend to lean the weight of their whole body on the head and neck. This occurrence can cause the disks between the neck vertebrae to become extremely compressed and can often lead to injuries like a pinched nerve or slipped disk.
- Yoga originated in India and has been practiced by yogis who generally have smaller and light body frames. It is very harmful to a large individual who will stand on their head and lean their whole body weight on their fragile neck and head.
- The discs on the neck vertebrae function as shock absorbers. They must not get too thin or flat, so the vertebrae will not get too close to one another. This can lead to pinching the nerves of the spinal cord. The discs are made of 90% water and continuously absorb fluid to remain healthy, thick and do their function properly.
- Doing a headstand can put too much weight on the head, and the neck and the disks will be compressed and affect the nerves on the spinal cord. When the disks are compressed too much, they will not absorb fluids and will result in being dry, thin, and not functioning correctly as shock absorbers.
- Headstands done incorrectly can cause disc herniation, and it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in the arms and neck.
- Individuals who have high blood pressure must avoid performing yoga headstands.
Consider the following options when doing a headstand:
- Build your arms, shoulder, and back muscles so you will be able to lift your head off the floor and not lean your whole body weight on it.
- Individuals who have a higher level of consciousness their body are more prana than it is flesh. Have a light pranic body, wherein the body mass transforms into frequency.
Are Headstands Safe?
So is it safe to do headstands? Is it advisable to practice it regularly? A certain amount of weight applied to the neck and head must be done slowly and controlled. When headstands are done with high-momentum kick up and kick down, this can cause the neck and the head to be at risk for fractures, strains, vertebrae injuries, and other complications.
The most challenging entry and exit must be done to practice headstands safely: the pike-up and pike-down. This method has the slightest force on the head and neck and has the lowest weight loading rate.
To do the split-leg entry and exit: Keep the knees bent and pull them into the chest, straighten one leg, and the other leg will follow until both the legs are stacked about the hips and shoulders. To do a split-leg exit, do the process in reverse.
Alternative Poses for a Headstand
- Wide-legged forward fold – This pose gives the benefits of performing an inversion pose. Step the legs wide apart and fold them forward, and then dangle the head and neck.
- Handstand – This pose may be a challenging pose to do, but it can be quite fun and challenging at the same time.
- Inversion chairs – Inversion chairs allow an individual to turn upside down without risk of getting injured or accidents that can cause harm.
Tips to Prevent Injury and Accidents
- Start the pose with the forearms on the ground. The majority of the weight must be applied to the forearms than the crown of the head.
- Build up the core muscle strength. The strength of the arms and core will help you do the headstand pose easily.
- Start slowly, never rush and kick up into a headstand. This can cause injuries to the head, neck, and vertebrae.
- When performing the headstand, you can prevent injury by doing the pose correctly and focusing on the alignment.
Headstands may look easy to some and can be pretty exciting to do, but they are dangerous, especially when done incorrectly. To prevent yourself from getting injuries, especially on the head and neck, make sure only to do it if you have a yoga expert to guide you and never rush doing the pose. Always make sure to do the proper alignment and focus on putting all the body weight on the forearms and not on the head.Also, if you are experiencing a golfers elbow? According to a yoga journal report, yoga can help improve range of motion, reduce inflammation, and promote better joint function. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate yoga into your golf routine, be sure to consult with your physician first.