Befriending Backbends

Mar 19, 2011 | Families of Poses, XPoses, Yoga practices, Yoga teaching  | 0 comments

A number of years ago, I ran a series of workshops by the above title. So many people have a love-hate relationship with backbends that I thought it good to teach some anatomy, practice simple backbends first and then work up to more advanced back arches over several sessions.
Ironically, while developing the workshop and doing lots of backbends prior to it, I made my back sore. Collateral damage, you could say, but I could speak from experience when I said, “Don’t be pushy!”
Anyway, here’s some adjustments for a simple backbend:
Make sure you use your deep neck flexors to lift your head. Hollow your abdomen as you lift up, but keep your bottom ribs on the floor. Squeeze your thighs lightly. Keep your buttocks firm but not clenched. Use your mid-back muscles to strengthen your shoulder blades. Keep your shoulder blades down toward your waist. Move your groins away from your kidneys and your kidneys toward your head. And, don’t be pushy.
Repeat for three times, staying up for no more than 10 breaths each time.

- befriending backbends



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