Inversion optional

Indian Yoga teachers often teach inverted postures toward the beginning or at the end of a class. For Westerners, we prefer to introduce inverted postures closer to the middle of the routine, when they've properly prepared their backs and necks and have plenty of time for adequate compensation. Inverted postures like those shown in Figure 15-20 are optional, and we recommend that beginners avoid the half shoulder stand and the half shoulder stand at the wall until they've practiced Yoga for six to eight weeks.

Figure 15-20:

Inversions are powerful postures that deserve respect.

Figure 15-20:

Inversions are powerful postures that deserve respect.

Powerful Postures
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Attempt inversions only if you have no neck problems. Inverted postures are worthy of a healthy respect. They're powerful postures that demand a sense of balance and strong muscles. We offer you several easy and safe inversion postures in Chapter 10. Select just one for your 30- to 60-minute routine, assuming you're ready and want to include an inversion in your practice.

Even if you are ready for an inversion, we advise against practicing the shoulder stand or the half shoulder stand at the wall if any of the following conditions applies to you: glaucoma, retinopathy, high blood pressure, a history of heart attacks or stroke, hiatal hernia, the first few days of menstruation, pregnancy, or 40 or more pounds of excess weight.

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