6 Reasons To Practice Yoga Backbends
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!
3 Popular Backbends & Their Benefits
Major Tip: Remember, with backbends it’s critical not to force your body into a position it’s not ready for, listen and feel for signs telling you to slow down.
Camel Pose offers a variety of benefits, some of which are listed below. Enjoy the pose!
Camel Pose Benefits:
Opens The Chest
Stretches The Hips
Stretches The Shoulders
Strengthens The Back
Tones The Neck and Abdomen
The pose is called Bow Pose because it resembles an archers bow. If the pose is deep enough it can also resemble a tear drop.
This pose should be practiced with caution, especially for beginners. Beginners may find it difficult to lift off the ground, in which case a blanket under the thighs may help. Going deep into the pose isn’t required and shouldn’t be forced.
Tip: Pose not suggested for anyone with high or low blood pressure.
Bow Pose Benefits:
Opens Chest and Shoulders
Helps to Strengthen the Back Muscles
Beneficial For Developing Good Posture
Good Stretch For Hip Flexors
Allows Lungs to Expand More Fully
The Sanskrit word “matsya” means “fish”, therefore we can translate the posture to Fish Pose. This pose is generally considered a counter pose to Shoulder Stand Pose, or Plow Pose. Normally, the full pose is practiced with the legs in Lotus Pose, although beginners will typically practice with straight legs flat on the floor.
The major benefits of Fish Pose include stretching the hip flexors and opening the chest. The intercostal muscles are also stretched along with the muscles of the abdomen. The organs of the belly are stimulated and the throat is also stretched. Muscles of the upper back and back of neck can also be strengthened in Fish Pose. It has be stated that Fish Pose is a destroyer of many diseases.
Bow Pose, Bridge Pose and Reclining Hero Pose can act as good prep poses for Fish Pose.
Major Tips: Start practicing this pose with straight legs as opposed to having your legs in Lotus posture. You can practice the posture with your hands by your side or underneath your buttocks. Be careful not to strain your neck, if needed place a blanket underneath your head to raise it.
Fish Pose offers a variety of benefits, some of which are listed below. Enjoy the pose!