Yoga Sadhana – Spiritual Practice

Backbends Yoga – Approaching Backbends

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Backbends Yoga – Most people need to prepare quite strongly in order to approach deep backbends properly. This is because backbends are some of the most dynamic and intense postures in Hatha yoga.

While backbends can break open our barriers, expand our prana and breath, give us willpower and develop a deep inner power, these traits being quite transformative, they do not come without effort. Certainly, it is worth the effort, for backbends can have a profound impact on our lives.

Approaching Backbends

In order to prepare for backbends, we should practice strengtheners such as Cobra Pose and Upward Dog Pose on a regular basis. We should also make sure to warm up thoroughly before attempting any deep backbends. By preparing our bodies in this way, we can approach backbends with confidence and ease, reaping all the benefits that they have to offer.

As with anything intense, poor preparation can lead to disaster. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika ( a classical text) says that one should approach deep work like you would approach a tiger: carefully! Many would be wise not to approach at all, but perhaps we are not those people. Consider approaching backbends like this:

As with anything intense, poor preparation can lead to disaster. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika ( a classical text) says that one should approach deep work like you would approach a tiger: carefully! Many would be wise not to approach at all, but perhaps we are not those people. Consider approaching backbends like this:

Gradually increase your general body heat as you warm up. Also, increase the depth and regularity of the breath.

Backbends Yoga
Backbends Yoga

During your warm-up and vinyasa practice, insert light backbends such as upward dog and ustrasana (camel) to get the spine and muscles accustomed to the shape.

Don’t forget to not only warm up the spine to back bending shapes but also the thighs (quadriceps muscles) and the armpit muscles and shoulders. When you finally get into deep backbends, engage mula bandha (root lock), which helps prevent injury by keeping the sacrum pulled into the body and alignment correct.

Always come out of backbends slowly and mindfully. Backbends are wonderful for spinal health but take them slow at first if you are new to them! Consider inserting them only a couple of days a week in your practice until you feel

Supta virasana is excellent for the thighs, and the cow’s face is ideal for armpits.

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