Backbends are energizing, open hearted postures that help us overcome obstacles, accept new challenges and move fearlessly into the future. They are great to start off a new year! If you already have a regular backbending practice – try to practice them in a new way, considering the information in this blog. For some, backbends can be scary because they can cause you to look away from your core, and even turn your body and way of thinking – upside down! Many yogi’s find backbends difficult or skip them altogether because they can cause you to revert to patterns of insecurity or avoiding risk.
But they can also be exhilarating! They open the heart chakra (anahata) and free the third chakra (manipura). They stimulate our “Fight or Flight” (sympathetic) nervous system to give us the fire we need to set and follow through with intentions and goals. And, they are so much fun!
Of course if you are practicing at home, it is important to warm up and start off with “baby backbends” (such as Sphinx Pose), then move to some “intermediate backbends” (such as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) , and finally move on to some “advanced backbends” ( such as Urdhva Dhanurasana) if your practice takes you there. You can also try this deep but very supported partner backbend in the picture (above right). Pay close attention to your breathing in your backbends. Focus on your INHALE and embrace all the future has to offer you! Namaste!
Krista Bromfield is a RYT, Can-Fit-Pro PRO Trainer, Mom and Auntie. She has an Honors Degree in Kinesiology and Education, and is the lead Anatomy Instructor for the Balanced Life Yoga Teacher Training Programs. Krista teaches a variety of yoga classes including Yoga Nerds, Power Hour Yoga, Partner Yoga, Kids Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Stroller Fitness and Mom and Baby Yoga Bootcamp at Balanced Life Yoga.