A new term of classes – Back Bends

I’m blogging! It still feels very novelty but I’ll get over it soon. I hope you had a lovely Easter and are excited about what treats I have in store for this terms yoga classes.

So as it is nearly Summer I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a term working towards some energising back bends. Now the nights are longer and we all feel energised and uplifted it feels like time to build on the positivity of spring and do some postures that will help us get the most out of this time of year.

We have previously looked at some back bends in class. The more basic ones such as Cobra (Bhujangasana) and Locust (Shalabasana) poses have been a good starting point and from there we have touched on Dancer (Natarajasana), Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Fish (Matsyasana) and Bow (Dhanurasana). We will be returning to all of these in the term and looking at them in more detail, developing our technique for moving in and out of them easily and with confidence. As the term goes on we will look at new postures such as Pidgeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) and Camel (Ustrasana) and may even venture towards Crab (Urdhva Dhanurasna) later in the term if you all feel ready.

All back bends require balance and strength to maintain, so we will continue to work on strengthening the muscles of the legs and abdominals, including using postures such as Boat (Navasana), all versions of plank and some of the Warrior (Virabhadrasana) poses.  We will also be developing our Sun Salutaion and possibly moving towards a slightly different version that incorporates some twisting and side bending. Hopefully, we will also get chance to continue our exploration into inversions and will touch again on Plough (Halasana) and maybe progress to shoulder stand (Sarvangasana) later on in the term. We will be returning to simpler breathing practices this term, mainly because back bends can be quite challenging and energizing so it is important that we finish each week with something calming and simple to ground you all again before you leave.

Back bends can be a struggle for many people, it is not a movement of the body we do very much in every day life, which is one of the reasons it is important to do them so that we maintain a comfortable level of mobility in our spine and torso. They can be very beneficial for relieving tension in the back, spine and chest areas and will aid the building of balance and strength through working on core muscles. Back bends can also be tricky mentally, because it is a movement into the unknown. In yoga we usually use the head and eyes to guide us into postures but with back bends we cannot do this, so through regular practice bending backwards may also help you to find increased confidence in our yoga and ourselves in general.

I hope you are looking forward to trying these postures in the coming weeks. See you at class.

Emma

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