Backbends warm the system,increase and invigorate us.They bring flexibility to our central axis of support and strengthen weak back muscles. Backbends counter pose the forward bending that dominates the day for many of us-sitting,driving,housework, and working at a desk. Backbends increase determination and willpower. Extending backward into the unknown helps you to confront your fears when life presents you with an unknown quantity. Backbends open the chest, so they are uplifting. Opening the chest promotes better breathing and the heart center expands to bring a joyful vitality into your life.
5 benefits of backbends in yoga
1 // They force your body to move in a way that it’s perhaps not used to, meaning that you will get all the delicious benefits of a backbend but they will be increased tenfold because you’re simply not used to them. Increased mobility in the spine is never a bad thing for all round health and longevity.
2 // All day long the majority of us are sat at a desk, hunched over a laptop, running from meeting to meeting carrying a heavy bag on our shoulders. Due to this, many of us are generally wearing a posture that could be likened somewhat to the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Daily backbends can help counteract this sag and have us sitting (and standing) straighter and taller in no time and I mean, who doesn’t want to gain a little height!?
3 // All of this improved posture can help with any back or neck pain you may have been experiencing. With more of us than ever before, regularly taking painkillers for physical issues, adding in a few backbends to your routine could be a much healthier, more cost effective way of battling the problem.
4 // Backbends are commonly known as heart openers, and it’s easy to see why! Physically and emotionally opening up your heart to the world, they are said to make you feel more open to positive emotions and on the flip side, more able to deal with negative emotions. Backbends are also like a defiant stand against any feelings of vulnerability you may be experiencing and the subsequent desire to curl inwards in a movement of self protection.
5 // They are proven to boost your mood! This isn’t just some hooky kooky yoga stuff either, it’s science! The stretching open of your chest stimulates the nervous system, invigorating and waking you up, the perfect pick me up! To get back to my more spiritual side, in this position we are also stimulating the heart chakra, such a valuable exercise in today’s busy and somewhat disconnected world.
As with all exercise it’s important to practice safely and that means a thorough warm up, especially when you will be stretching and putting any kind of strain on the spine. You can try a few of the following to make sure that you’re safe to proceed with backbends.
- Cat / Cow – You can hang out here for a while, doing some regular cat / cows then gentle twists from side to side, really let your body move naturally and warm up slowly, mobilizing your spine in all directions.
- Planks – It’s important to engage the core so that it is ready to work, protecting your spine.
- Sun Salutations – These will thoroughly warm you up but make sure to go easy on your first couple and only come up part of the way during your first upward dog, or cobra.
Bring it on yoga lovers !!!! xxx