Backward bending asanas are energising and rejuvenating. They can be very exhilarating, bestow courage and bring lightness to the body and mind. There is an old adage, ‘you are as young as your spine is flexible’. Backbends ask us to ‘come out of our shells’ and embrace life. They develop our ability to trust, to adapt to change and see things from a different perspective. So much of life is experienced through the front of the body; we spend our lives reaching, bending and also too much time hunching forward. Worries are often placed on our shoulders and backs and we carry them around with us. Backbends help us put down these mental loads that over time become stiffness and inflexibility in our bodies. They offer a new perspective and way of looking at things.
On a physical level backbends tone the abdominal muscles, internal organs and strengthen and tone the back, neck and shoulder muscles while making the spine flexible and strong. They expand the chest and strengthen the respiratory system. Backbends have a detoxifying effect on the body as liver function is stimulated. Back bending also has a neurological effect, as circulation is increased in the spine more oxygen is fed to the spinal nerves. This energy feeds into the brain, effecting mental alertness and agility.
As with all asanas, in back bending our foundations need to be strong, rooted and connected, grounded in the earth, so we can extend, elongate, trust and breathe past any limitations and open the heart.
Join Dory for an uplifting morning of backbending on Sunday 22nd May - details and booking here.