I can still clearly remember the very moment and day that I first injured my lower back. Everything was going great and then a simple act of bending forward to pick up some magazines changed everything. Most of us at some point experience the dreaded lower back injury, unfortunately in most cases once the back is injured, it's usually never quite the same.
A few years ago, I began my yoga practice with the worry that my back just wouldn't be able to survive. However, I can happily report that my practice has all but eliminated most of my back problems. As a matter of fact, if my back feels badly, a quick class will usually do wonders.
As it turns out, yoga backbends aren't only good for the back but also provide many other benefits as well. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before taking on any exercise routine, especially if you have injuries. In the meantime, here's a short list of yoga backbend benefits, some of which will likely surprise you.
Plus, if you're interested, here are some Backbend Poses! Browse Backbend Postures!
Stress Relief. Many yoga poses offer some level of stress and tension relief. Backbends certainly fall into that category. Most of us tend to carry around a lot of tension in the back, like all tension it needs to be released.
Spine Flexibility. Naturally a healthy spine is a flexible spine. Many people find themselves hunched or bent forward for a large portion of their day. Maybe you work at a desk or your job requires too much bending over. Backbends allow us to reverse that trend and get the back bending in the opposite direction which keeps the spine flexible and healthy.
Compress & Massage Kidneys. Backbends also provide a little compression or massage for the kidneys. This compression can help to keep the kidneys flushed.
Abdomen Stretches. We spend a lot of time stretching many areas of the body with yoga, but the abdomen doesn't seem to get its fair share. Backbends arch the back and therefore provide a good opening stretch for abdomen.
They Get You Upside Down. Of course, there are numerous backbends of varying degrees of difficulty. Some are very simple such as Cobra, and others like Wheel are more extreme. Poses like Wheel get you upside down which also offers unique benefits. Plus, getting upside down can help overcome fears and prepare you to possibility move forward with inversions if you desire.
Offer A Challenge & Build Strength. As mentioned above, some backbends can be challenging and require significant strength. Practicing these more difficult backbends can offer great satisfaction as you expand your practice.
As always practice safely, pay attention to alignment and don't force it!
Visit Do You Yoga's Blog for 5 Easy Backbends For Beginners