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Benefits of yoga backbends

Updated: Apr 21

Personal practice: This week I have been mainly...

Making sure I practice backwards bending.

Woman on a rock in upwards facing dog yoga pose
Upwards facing dog - a backbend controlled by whole body tension

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like I'm stuck in that hunched-over-the-desk shape. Sitting on the sofa isn't much different, and even when I'm practicing yoga asana I find it much simpler to lean over my badda konasana than think about stretching my back in the opposite direction for something like saddle pose.

Our bodies contain several layers of the most amazing connective tissue called fascia. As we move throughout the day, our fascia moves with us, but because part of its job is to hold things together, it doesn't move rapidly. This means that if I spend a lot of time at my desk and later want to practice yoga asana, a lot of my fascia layers might still be in "desk shape". So plenty of warm up needed!

The cumulative time we spend in certain positions (even over years and decades) can also affect our fascia, and our long term body shapes, as the body adapts to what we do most.

I don't want to be stuck in desk shape in another 10 years of I can avoid it... I'm focusing on getting my backwards bending in. This is one of the major benefits of yoga backbends.

5 minutes in sphinx pose over a bolster in the morning, then upwards facing dog, cobra, bridge and even some upwards facing bow (aka wheel pose) on the mat- something every day. It feels challenging but also satisfying. Moving out of the 'usual' shapes our body makes can be intense, although I'm feeling energised by the extra range of movement. Also one of the benefits of yoga backbends!

If you feel you might benefit from working with backwards bending, book onto my class in Leeds or book a 1-1 or private group session.

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