Ask an expert

16 Nov 2004

Head stands/hand stands
Please advise what precautions one should take before doing these positions. What are the danger signals if any and should they be avoided during menstruation? Also, how long is it safe to stay in these inverted positions and what exactly are the benefits?

Answer 381 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Deb - well there is no short or simple answer to this one - this is an area that you are likely to get a lot of differing or downright contradictory advice - depending on who you ask. My suggestion is to do a little research at but always bear in mind that only you can be the adjudicator for what is right for you - part of the lesson in yoga is learning to listen to your body, but be particularly aware of your neck in headstand and I generally recommend not doing inversions during the first 3 days of menstruation. BKS Iyengar in his book "Light on Yoga" lists the benefits of handstand as "It strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists and expands the chest fully." There is almost a whole page on headstand effects (which is known as the king of postures) amongst them being: "healthy pure blood flows through the brain cells. It ensures a proper blood supply to the pituitary and pineal glands in the brain. Our growth, health and vitality depend on the proper functioning of these two glands." An experienced teacher can be invaluable in the learning of these postures.
All the best.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
32% - 9467 votes
68% - 20215 votes