Safe Back Bending in Yoga
This is particularly important in back bending sequences! Back-bending is an important tool in keeping the spine supple and removing potential energy blocks situated in the spinal region.
When teaching a back-bending sequence, it is particularly important to remember to first stretch the quadricep muscles (thigh) on the front side of the body before beginning back-banding. Why, you may ask? While back-bending, we open up the entire front half of the body, chest, hips and legs, and potentially place strain on these parts. Naturajasana is a great asana for doing exactly this.
Two things to remember once in a back-bending sequence.
- It is very effective to do back-bends in sets of three, with short breaks consisting of a few breaths in between each rep. Rep one should be at 75% intensity, rep two at 100% intensity and the third and final rep at maximum intensity, in other words, give it everything you have got.
- Never intersperse back-bending asana’s with forward bends. Although it is very important to do a few forward bends while doing a back-bending sequence, ALWAYS do these after you have completed your back-bending sequence. Bending backwards and forwards repetitively is an incredibly dynamic movement and can place a lot of stress on the spinal column; therefore, it is very important that we give as much protection as possible to the spine.
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