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Kula Yoga instructor, certified Naturopath and founder of Nutrition & Yoga Co. Amelia Schrader, filled us in on why backbends could be the solution to modern day life.
Backbends could be considered the counter pose to modern day living. So many of our every day activities involve a degree of forward folding or rounding over. Even as I write this, I’m sitting at my computer trying to sit up taller and stop my shoulders from rounding forward.  The hours we spend on smartphones scrolling through emails and Facebook can increase the rounding in our thoracic and cervical spine or upper back and neck.
Common problems living in a forward-focused world
For those with an office job, sitting at a desk all day has the potential to not only effect the thoracic and cervical spine but may also cause lower back pain, tight muscles, fascia and connective tissue in the chest, shoulders and hip flexors. This poor seated posture can inhibit your ability to take full expansive breaths as the diaphragm becomes restricted and causes shallow breathing. Stress also causes the body to slightly hunch over. Our natural response to any stress is to protect our vital organs and results in a temporary change in posture.  Modern living and all of the stressors involved may lead to this rounded posture becoming a more permanent state unless there are attempts to counteract these lifestyle factors.
A bendy solution
This is where backbends come in. Backbends are one way we can counteract these lifestyle factors. They help improve mobility in the spine, stretch out tight muscles, fascia and connective tissue in the chest, shoulders and hip flexors and for some alleviate lower back pain.  By opening the front body we improve our ability to breathe and allow for full expansive breaths. Backbends play a key role in a regular yoga practice and help keep that modern day posture in check.
Want to introduce backbends into your yoga practice, or explore deeper variations? Join Amelia at Kula Yoga for our upcoming workshop “The Art of Backbends,” on Saturday Jan 17, 1-3 p.m. $40. For more details and to book in, visit our website here: https://kulayoga.com.au/workshops.