Often, when practising backbend asanas, we will notice how the spine wants to compress. This has to do with the way we spread our weight across our bodies. So, in today’s class, we will look at ways of preventing this compression and achieving maximum elongation in our backbends.
We will start off with a brief inversion and standing pose sequence during which we will be paying special attention to the ways in which our base (be it the foot, hand, or elbow) interacts with the surface it’s placed against. We are used to thinking of elongation as something that happens through the crown of the head or the tips of the fingers when our hands are raised upwards. However, yoga teaches us that everything in our bodies is interconnected: an action in the sole of the foot can sometimes resonate all the way up in the shoulders. During the first part of this class, we will look at how, by spreading our weight evenly across our bodies and by pushing evenly into the ground, we can receive the impulse that is necessary to help us extend upwards.
This will prepare us for the backbend session that follows. Now, instead of sinking into the spine, we will be able to activate our bodies more efficiently and use the surface as a source of energy for our upward extension.