Are headstands safe for your neck?

Headstand or Sirsasana Pose:

As an upper cervical chiropractor, I get asked if headstands are safe for people's necks all the time.  My answer is yes, but with some very important distinctions.  The first distinction is that this posture is ALL about how you get into it and how you get out of it.  Standing on your head isn't actually the hard part, I promise!  What is difficult and can compromise your neck and body is getting up there and getting down.  When going into this posture, the most important aspect is that you have a solid base created by your shoulders and forearms.  The secret is that you should have almost no actual body weight on the crown of your head.  Your body weight is supported by the upper body, not your head and neck, which is why, when done correctly, a headstand is not going to hurt your neck.  Coming in and and out of the head stand is all about core engagement so that you are shifting weight appropriately and being sure to protect your neck during this movement. 

The health benefits of body inversion are well documented, and done correctly with attention to detail, headstands are beneficial for your body.

So... happy head-standing!

Reverse Warrior: Engage your abdominal muscles to spare your spine!

Reverse warrior posture is one of the foundation poses for many yoga practices and is one of my favorites.  It just feels so good to get that deep stretch through the side body while strengthening your legs.  Although as with all yoga poses, alignment is crucial for this posture or lower back injuries can be created or exacerbated.  There is so much going on in this posture that it can be easy to forget to engage your abdomen as you lean back and yet it is crucial to remember this to protect your lower back.    

In this posture you are not just leaning to one side but your also leaning back.  This oblique movement can be compromising to your lower back and should be avoided if you have a recent injury.  Even with the healthiest backs, remember that this movement starts and ends in your abs! 


Warrior three pose or Virabhadrasana III is a more advanced posture and requires the practitioner to have a solid foundation and balance.  This is a pose that is wonderful for strengthening: ankles, legs, back, core, and shoulders.  It is also a pose that if done incorrectly can cause some problems in the body, especially for the hip of the standing leg and for the lower back.  For the ideal benefits of this pose make sure that your foot, knee, hip, shoulders, head and arm of the raised leg are in a straight line, and that the raised leg, toes, hip points, and fronts of the shoulder all point towards the ground.  

This pose also helps with focus, concentration and invigorating the body.   

Remember that keeping a body moving is an important part of keeping a body healthy! 

Happy Practicing.