Backbends and inversions can seem intimidating, but the benefits of both are so great that I urge you to give them a try. Choose a pose appropriate for where you are in your practice. You can make use of the wall or a block to help you out. I made a short video for tips and inspiration.
Whether it's a passive pose like legs up the wall or a more physical pose like headstand, inversions improve circulation, alleviate anxiety, relieve back pain, improve digestion, and help insomnia. Note: Menstruating women and people with high blood pressure should not do inversions.
Backbends are invigorating and help to energize the body. They stimulate circulation, loosen up the joints, release natural pain killers, relieve tension and boost energy levels. Great to do if you're feeling a little tired!
I hope this video helps to inspire someone to try an inversion or backbend. If you decide to give it a go, snap a pic and send it to me on twitter or on Facebook so I can put you in the facebook album "Yoga Everywhere"!