The word inversion has two opposing meanings when viewed from the perspective of the Western Yoga tradition. In Hatha yoga, an inversion is an Asana in which the feet (or heart, depending on who you ask) are above the head.
The purpose of the inversion of Hatha yoga is to renew, refresh and change perspective. Going upside down, whether in simpler forms such as downward dog or more difficult inversions such as headstand, brings fresh blood to the brain, releases pressure from the feet, and builds core muscles. It also redirects the usual flow of spiritual energies and provides a different view of the world. It is recommended that every person with the physical ability (easy there, Angler) should spend 10 minutes in an inversion every day.
Shifting to another branch of Western Yoga, the pentagram is one of the oldest, and most powerful, symbols in the magickal tradition. It represents the perfection of the natural world. The five equidistant lines that form the star represent the perfect balance of the elements: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Inverting the pentagram is a sign of working against nature, of perverting the balance for personal gain.
In Hatha inversions, you are doing good things for mind and body by shifting energy and blood. In black magick, the inversion represents perversion of the perfect. The first, I recommend wholeheartedly. The second, not at all. Perhaps, given the actual meaning of an inverted pentagram (or cross, flag, etc.), the word subverted would be more accurate, as you are overthrowing the original meaning of a symbol.
Anyone else come across any good autantonyms lately?