I have an injured disc in my neck. Is doing headstand will result in any risk?

(May 29, 2012)

Yoga expert B.K.S. Iyengar recommends certain poses to treat herniated discs in his book ‘Light on Yoga.’ These include the Forward Bend, Standing Forward Bend, Camel Pose, Cobra Pose, Bridge Pose, Handstand, and Shoulder Stand. The Headstand does not feature in this list mainly because if this pose is performed incorrectly, it can do more harm than good.

The Headstand or Sirsana is considered a master posture in yoga. It helps revitalize the body and mind and regular practice of this posture can help improve blood circulation, calm the mind, increase alertness, tone the legs and abdomen, and stimulate the nervous system. However, if you suffer from an injured disk in the neck, you should avoid this posture as it can cause further damage. Even if your neck injury is old, you should consult an experienced yoga therapist before taking up the pose. Follow the instructions carefully of your trainer so that you avoid injury. Before you begin even working on the Headstand, several months should be spent on other yoga poses such as Downward Facing Dog and Plow Pose. These will help improve the alignment of the spine and strengthen the back, arm, hand, and neck muscles. All this will then add up to a safer Headstand.

Submitted by s s on May 29, 2012 at 06:11

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