If you are just starting yoga, one of the biggest challenges may be backbends.
Let’s put that challenge in its place!
Firstly, backbends look tough. They look intimidating. You shouldn’t be turned off by backbends, but you should respect them and approach with caution. Once you get the hang of how the backbend feels, you’ll see backbends aren’t so bad. Plus, you’ll get some great benefits out of practicing them!
You may or may not have a tight back, so before we dive into this any further, head over and check out this 30 minute Sequence ’ BackBend and Beyond ' . Get a feel of where you're at on the backbend. You may want to start out with Upper Facing Dog and Cobra Poses. I posted about those two poses, remember? ;)
I am one of the fortunate ones when it comes to backbends. My back and spine is naturally flexible. I was able to dive right into the backbends, but my form isn’t perfect.
I am still doing a lot of tweaking (and a few workshops) and exploring my backbend.
My challenge, ( and a lot of flexible people’s problems) , is that I simply relied too much on my flexibility. We need to focus more on arching the back by lifting our sternum with core strength, not relying on flexibility. By lifting your chest up, you elongate your back and avoid doing a “crunch” motion. This is a really important concept.
You are not just bending your back but also lengthening your back at the same time.
When you go into backbend during your practice this week, keep this note somewhere in your mind and let me know if you find any difference.
Do not force a backbend! Take your time. Remember to enjoy the path, and save your back for a long journey ahead!