As we practice yoga poses we want to do also inversions. Most common inversions are the Headstand and the Shoulderstand. But there are not only those two poses which are the inverted asanas.
Any posture in which the head is below the heart is called an inversion. Whether you stand on your head, bend forward or bend back, if your head is below your heart, you are performing an inversion.
This also means that Downward Facing Dog, Standing Forward Bend and Fish pose are also inversions; although those poses are mild in comparison to a Headstand. The Camel pose can also be an inversion if you bend back far enough.
Remember – inversions are not for everyone!
Your intentions should be clear when you perform any yoga posture. If the risks may outweigh the benefits there is no logical reason why you should practice any pose which can harm you.
Contraindications for practicing inversions:
If you have any of the following conditions, please omit inversions or work with a qualified and experienced teacher who will never put you at risk and tried to modify your practice.
Anyone who has high blood pressure, heart related problems, eye issues, neck problems, epilepsy, previous stroke or sinus problems should never practice Headstand or Shoulderstand, and omit other mild inversions or be adjusted by the yoga teacher.
During any stage of pregnancy yoga should be practiced in a prenatal yoga classes specifically designed for that purpose or privately with a qualified pregnancy yoga teacher.
During menstruation Headstand and Shoulderstand preferably should be omitted and other milder inversions should not be hold for long, but because of the controversy about the inversions during menstruation it is your personal choice. Let your body guide you.
If you are a yoga teacher explain to your students why the inversions can be dangerous for them if they have any of the condition mentioned earlier.
Why not stand on your head when you have pain in your neck or neck injury? What first thing will come to your mind as you there? Ouch … my neck! Can my small neck carry my whole weight as I am inverted?
Most students put lots of weight on their head and neck instead of shoulders. Use your common sense and listen to your body. Intuition will never let you down.
Why omit headstand if I have high blood pressure? Because the danger is when your blood pressure increase from 100/60 mm Hg while standing on your feet to 150/110 mm Hg or even higher when you go for headstand.