Standing Backbend Pose

Backbends are a wonderful way to stretch and strengthen your entire body. Not only do they provide relief from the tension in muscles, but by strengthening them, you can increase flexibility as well. Try learning basic gentle bends that will help teach proper form without overwhelming your newbie body.

Moreover, this is a great pose for those looking to open up their hearts and feel compassionate towards others or themselves. It is also said backbends will deepen your capacity in love, compassion and connection with people around you.

The Basics of Standing Backbend Pose:

The standing backbend pose is often known as anuvittasana or ardhacharasana in Sanskrit. This yoga pose is a beginner’s asana that opens the heart and helps to clear out any bad energies. 

To do this pose, just simply stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and bend backward until you feel a stretch in your low back. Keep your head aligned towards hips while focusing on stretching that area for 30 seconds, then return to the standing position once finished. 

The Benefits of Practicing Standing Backbend Pose

There are a number of health benefits of backbend pose, including improved physical and emotional wellbeing. The benefits include relieving tension in the muscles of your back as well as improving breathing capacity through deep yoga posture. 

Moreover, it is really beneficial if you suffer from chronic low-back pain or asthma attacks because it increases lung ventilation. The back-bending positions in yoga are called Obamas for a reason. They strengthen your whole body and help relieve tension, tightness or pain by increasing flexibility which improves mobility along the spine to promote good posture. 

The backbends are the best way to release all that built-up energy and stress. They not only energize you, but they also relieve fatigue so much better than other types of poses. However, there may be some risks involved with these intense positions before bedtime since it might make falling asleep difficult for some people. 

Yoga backbends are said to release energy stored in your spine. This awakens kundalini energy which is spiritual power found at the base of our spines known as “the seat of consciousness.” Backbends stimulate and open up heart chakra located near one’s chest; this could lead you closer to self-awareness

It also helps boost mental clarity through increased blood flow while also touching upon spirituality, such as the opening heart. Simply put, the backbend pose helps you in: 

  • Supporting a healthy spine 
  • Reliving shoulder tension and pain 
  • Opening your heart 
  • Elevating excruciating back pain 
  • Flushing your kidneys 
  • Flexing your hip 

How to do a Standing Backbend Pose?

Take a look below at the step by step instructions for doing standing backbend pose: 

  • Begin in Mountain Pose; stand tall with your feet about a foot apart. Stand straight and keep chin lifted upward towards the sky while inhaling deeply through pursed lips. 
  • To engage all of the muscles in your legs, focus on drawing up both knees and keeping them there as you breathe out. Keep an ample amount of space between the lower backside and head so that if any part pushes upwards, it will find support from below. 
  • As you inhale, reach up through the crown of your head and let out any tension that has been holding it down. As an added bonus for this stretch posture, try reaching over one shoulder before lifting back up, so there is more space between both shoulders’ blades. 
  • Draw your elbows together and place the palms of your hands-on lower back as you draw in a deep breath.
  • Take a deep breath as you lift up tall through the crown of your head and focus on contracting your abdominal muscles.
  • When you breathe out, try to arch your spine back. Keep in mind that this is something individualized for each person, so take some time and see what feels comfortable! You can keep looking forward or drop your head all the way back if needed.
  • Now that you’re in this backbend focus on opening your heart as if it were a flower. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly while bending from the waist with engaged abdominal muscles. 
  • Come into Mountain Pose with an inhalation. As you breathe out, slowly return to a standing position and use your hands on the ground for support as well as leverage from above if needed. 
  • Your spine should be stacked one vertebra at a time while doing this movement – take it nice and easy so that there is no unnecessary strain placed upon any parts of your body. 

Common Mistakes: 

  • Some people do not squeeze their hips and thighs together. This is a quite common mistake that you can do while doing a standing backbend pose. Squeeze in your legs and hips together, and you will be good to go. 
  • People do not develop meaningful strength from this pose, which is wrong. Do not strain yourself by just focusing on leaning backward. Do it comfortably and extract meaning out of it. 
  • Let go of all your fear while doing this pose. It might feel overwhelming at the start, but once you learn it, it becomes easier to let the positive energy in yourself. During the backbend pose, you can always lie down and give yourself some rest. Even if you get injured in this process, you will eventually heal from this yoga practice. 

Beginners’ Tips: 

To get the most out of backbends, it is important to follow these guidelines: 

  • Always warm up your body before beginning and cool down afterward by doing exercises that target muscles like upper arms or thighs as well. 
  • To start, try the easiest pose and progress toward more advanced ones. You’ll focus on stretching your back as well as strengthening other parts of you like arms or legs, for example. 
  • If you are experiencing any pain, stop and adjust your position. Maintain a smooth breath throughout the process to ensure comfort.
  • The key to preventing injury while practicing backbends is limiting your number of in one session. Do not do more than three consecutive poses. 

Cautions: 

If you’re pregnant, make sure to see your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. You should also be cautious of how much weight or force is put on the spine while doing these exercises, as it may cause injury if not done under supervision from an experienced teacher. 

Yoga is an incredible workout, but it’s also pretty relaxation-focused. Make sure you talk with your doctor before starting a yoga program if there are any medications or medical concerns that might affect the practice (including high blood pressure and arthritis).

Do not overdo the exercise. Just do it till you feel comfortable and do not strain yourself. 

Variations:

  • With hands-on on each side, walk down the backs of your thighs until you reach the back of your knees.
  • Inhale deeply as you raise your arms overhead with fingers interlaced and pointing up. 
  • Close your hands into a praying position and place them on either side of the heart. This is an ancient gesture that asks for protection from all Things, known as Anjali mudra. 

Concluding Remarks: 

The backbends are an excellent way to build strength, flexibility and mobility. To get started with these poses, try doing them slowly at first, so you know how your body feels in this pose. Then gradually move to the intermediate and advanced backbends to reap all the benefits that this yoga practice offers. 

Hasna Suhail

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References :


[0]Backbending postures - anatomy of Hatha yoga: A manual for students, teachers, and Practitioners. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://doctorlib.info/anatomy/anatomy-hatha-yoga/6.html

[1]Pizer, A. (2021, October 5). Yoga poses: An introduction to asana practice. Verywell Fit. Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://www.verywellfit.com/poses-yoga-4157147

[2]How to make backbends more enjoyable. Yoga Journal. (2021, September 2). Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/the-compassionate-backbend/