Home Practice The Benefits of Being Inverted

The Benefits of Being Inverted

by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

One of the best things about yoga practice is the ability to go upside down! We call them inversions, because you invert your body for a certain duration of time. They have tremendous benefits for the body, spirit and mind. We draw our inspiration from the BKS Iyengar method of yoga, where you practice inversions regularly at the end of class and hold them for an extended duration of time.

All inversions are better learned under the guidance of a skilled teacher to ensure safety during practice. The two most popular inversions are “Shirshasana,” which means headstand pose, and “Sarvangasana,” meaning all limbs pose. Sarvangasana is usually translated as shoulder stand, but this is incorrect when we consider the actual Sanskrit translation.


Sarvangasana should be learned before Shirshasana. However, Shirshasana should always be practiced before Sarvangasana, or all limbs pose can be practiced by itself. The energetic quality of the two asanas is very different – headstand is heating and more energetic, whereas all limbs pose is cooling and more nurturing. Shirshasana is usually referred to as the “king of all poses,” and Sarvangasana is called the “mother of all poses.”

Both poses have a lot of technique in terms of alignment, and are demanding on the body and mind. Read on for some of the benefits of these two poses, straight from the manual for our 200 hour Teacher Training starting in January 2016.


More benefits of each are listed below:


  • Thoughts gain more clarity and the ability to think is improved
  • Good for people who do a lot of mentally strenuous work
  • Proper blood flow to pituitary and pineal glands, which affect overall health, growth and vitality
  • Good for insomnia
  • Helps those who suffer from palpitations
  • Provides a new perspective to life
  • Heightens body awareness



  • Blood flows back to the heart with no strain or extra effort
  • Good for headaches
  • Helpful for uterine disorders, displacement of the uterus, and menstrual issues
  • Good for urinary tract infections
  • Restores lost vitality
  • Helpful to relieve epilepsy and anemia
  • Helps balance the effects of Shirshasana


Interested in learning more about our upcoming teacher training? You can find details here or come to one of our information sessions on December 18th and January 8th.

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