Backbending, or rather full body bending, as we often use much more than just our spine, is an integral part of any asana practice.
Those of us who experience tightness in the back often either skim this part of our practice or avoid it altogether. Others, ignore the practice of Yamas and Niyamas, those attitudes and behaviors that epitomize the spirit of yoga, and refuse to listen to the bodies wisdom while grasping for a ‘deeper’ opening. The result of both is that we stop practicing with awareness and breath.
In a backbend focused class we will look at various poses and explore how to come into them in safe and mindful way. With particular attention of using the yogic breath to create both comfort and control in any backbend.
We will also consider the importance of opening the middle and upper back as opposed to just the lower back, which is where many of us feel strain or discomfort in our practice.
Essentially the goal of the class is to find value the health and integrity of your body more than the glory of a deeper backbend by highlighting the primary function of the pose—the opening—more than the final shape or form of the posture.