There are a variety of reasons for practicing inversions on a regular basis. The therapeutic highlights of inversions are enhanced circulation of blood, the suspension of the organic body which frees up restrictions around the organs, and gravitational assistance of lymphatic drainage. Not to mention the energetic effects of changing your perspective and encouraging greater internal reflection.
There are also many reasons why students do not practice inversions. Sometimes this has to do with structural limitations such as rotator cuff injuries or lack of strength in the required muscles. Other times the very thought of taking the feet overhead is anxiety producing or students don't trust their own ability to support themselves. Even for a seasoned yoga practitioner holding an handstand or head stand for 5 minutes is quite demanding.
All of the above pros and cons are exactly why one of my favorite ways to practice sirsasana is supported on two chairs. As someone who has suffered from bursitis in my shoulder this variation was the perfect way for me to invert without hurting myself. Also due to the pressure of the chair on the upper trapezius muscle this supported posture has similar effects as getting a trigger point massage in the shoulders!
HOW TO GET INTO SUPPORTED SIRSASANA
* Please note that inversions can be contraindicated for those suffering from high blood pressure. Also full inversions such as this are not advisable for women on their moon cycle.
Based out of Austin Texas, Anna teaches Yoga and offers therapeutic massage. She is interested in Zen-Buddhism and the spiritual journey that yoga offers. Check out her blog for inspirations, teaching on yoga, educational information about the body and interesting stuff that she comes across out there in the world.