BACKBEND YOGA POSES

Practicing yoga backbends is a great way to change your perspective – and your mood. Rejuvenating and invigorating, backbends are often considered the “espresso shots” of yoga poses. And, because they open your heart, they are a great way to connect with your emotional body, helping you to heal and celebrate simultaneously. Because of this, backbend yoga poses are often credited with the ability to relieve stress and anxiety. By literally breaking open the front body, this category of postures gives us the ability to move through emotional and mental blocks.

But the emotional body isn’t the only one to benefit. In today’s world, we spend much of the day leaning forward, whether working on computers, sitting at desks, or driving from place to place. This habit takes our spines out of natural flexion; backbends help to reverse this. As such, back-bending postures do wonders when it comes to relieving back pain and neck pain. When practiced each day, backbends have the ability to quite literally transform your life.

Backbends are, however, a challenging category of postures, which is why it’s important to pay attention to physical alignment. Always allow the breath to be your guide, listening to when your body gives you the go-ahead to go deeper, and when it’s wiser to back off. And, remember, while backbends can sometimes feel scary, the benefit of working with them is breaking through to the other side of fear, discovering bravery, and self-confidence.

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What are the best yoga poses for a beginner?

Don’t get intimidated by some of the big backbends you see more seasoned students practicing. There are plenty of great backbends for beginners, too! Bridge pose (setu bandha sarvangasana) is a fantastic backbend that is accessible to nearly every student. The best part is that Bridge pose offers plenty of space for modifications and variations. Make it energizing by supporting your own body weight or enjoy a restorative version by placing a block beneath your sacrum. Either way, you’ll get all of the heart-opening benefits backbends are known for!

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