Incorporating backbends into your regular practice can bring practical benefits for both body and mind. These poses contribute to flexibility, strengthen back muscles, and stimulate the nervous system.
Backbends, like Bhujangasana, Salamba Bhujangasana, and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, offer benefits such as improved posture and reduced stiffness. Regular practice can positively impact physical well-being.
Beginners should focus on basic poses to understand the fundamental actions of lifting and extending the spine. Bhujangasana, Salamba Bhujangasana, and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana serve as introductory postures before progressing to more advanced poses, such as Urdhva Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, and Kapotasana.
When approaching backbends, it’s a good idea to start with a gentle warm-up targeting the shoulders, chest, and hips. A brief standing pose and forward bend sequence can also be beneficial as it will help to elongate and activate the legs and back of the body. Beginners should move gradually into backbends, using props like blocks or a bolster for support. The important thing is to understand your body’s limits and not cram yourself into poses but rather adjust in accordance with your limitations and focus on consistency in your practice as a way of achieving results.
It is recommended to integrate backbends midway or towards the end of your routine when the body is adequately warmed up. Gradually increase intensity and duration over time. This is what we will do in this class. We will start with a forward bend and standing pose session, going through Adho Mukha Svanasana, Uttanasana, Utthita Trikonasana, Urdhva Namaskarasana, and Prasarita Padottanasana. Only after this we move on to the backbends, working our way up from simpler foundational poses such as Salabhasana and Bhujangasana to a few iterations of more advanced backbends like Ustrasana and Urdhva Dhanurasana. We will finish the session with a gentle sequence aimed at relaxing the body and mind and finally lying down in Savasana for some quiet self-observation and meditation.