The Elements of Backbending

By Coach Julia Seaward

There are some folks who have the natural ability to fold forward, kiss their shins, and look as peaceful as can be. They are actively resting, enjoying the stretch and quiet of a forward bend.

That’s not me.

In a back bend we are doing more than flopping over backwards like a rag doll. The elements that build a back bend develop strength and sensitivity in the back of the body so that the spine can extend along the entire length without pain.

Back bends open the chest and are good for the lungs. They open and lengthen the abdomen and can be beneficial for healthy digestion.

For most of my life, I could barely touch my toes, so forward bends create anxiety.

However as my yoga practice progressed over the years I found that peaceful action in back bends.

These came relatively easily for me at first. I could pop into a number of backbends and just hangout, which, it turns out isn’t really the goal of a yoga pose.

During one yoga intensive, a Senior Iyengar Instructor, Lois called me to the front of the room strapped my arms and legs and “showed” me how much work I still had to do.

Since then (about 6 years) I have been pulling apart the back bend with the help of my teachers and practice buddies.

I am no longer just resting in it but asking myself what is working and what is not working, where to find the extension of the spine and how to let go of unnecessary grips both emotional and physical.

This is what a steady, consistent practice of pushing your limits can do.

Join us for the Elements of Back Bending Workshop at SBG North on Saturday, Februray 18th from 2-5pm. Develop the strength, confidence, and stamina and discover a new side of yourself!

To Register
Call the Kalispell front desk at (406) 752-7244 OR Whitefish front desk at (406) 862-7244.