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SIDE BENDS

.. postures that target the sides

The sides body says 'YES' and emotionally linked to seduction. Side stretching releases tension from the muscles that attach to the ribs and the intercostal muscles between the ribs themselves, allowing the ribs to express their full range of motion and the lungs to effectively respond to the increase and decrease of volume. Creating space between the iliac crest and the lower ribs on one side as you close the space on the other does wonders for the organs of the digestive system: stomach, pancreas and large intestine on the left side and liver, gallbladder and large intestine on the right side. 

THE SIDE BENDS

ASANA LABS

RESOURCES

      ALIGNMENT cues

 + USEFUL TIPS; 

allow you to UNDERSTAND,  

get up to grips.

o FORWARD BENDS

o BACK BENDS 

o TWISTS

o SIDE BENDS

o INVERSIONS

o ARM BALANCES

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

  • Rotate thighs internally. You can feel this using a block in between your thighs. Apply pada bandha to accentuate this further. 

  • Never overly squeeze the buttocks, instead soften the upper fibers of your gluteus max, which in contracting will externally rotate and abduct the thighs and thereby putting pressure on the SI joint at the base of the spine. 

  • Posteriorly tilt the pelvis. This action will draw more length into the lumbar spine, reducing pressure on the lower intervertebral disks and help share the backbend up the spine - bring front bony hip points toward the front ribs. 

  • Create length through the spine to allow greater spinal extension. 

  • Focus the backbend in the thoracic spine*

  • Add extension to cervical spine last or allow your neck to stay neutral.

  • Draw lower tips of shoulder blades in and up towards the heart further opening the chest. 

  • Lift the sternum up - increasing expansiveness.

  • Keep the breath steady and soft. 

CLASS INTEGRATIONS

o Deep and sustained backbends are best sequenced as peak of a practice when the body is warmest and most prepared.

o Start with active contraction or traction backbends before moving to leverage backbends. 

o Open the quadriceps, hip flexors, inner thighs, which contribute to greater hip flexion. 

o Open shoulders, lats, pecs and rhomboids, to prepare the shoulders for safe flexion in backbends. 

o Open shoulders, pecs for shoulder extension

o Use gentle twists for initial counterposing, then move into deeper forward bends, hip openers and deeper twists. 

o Core integration after backbends will help stabilise the lower back. 

o Backbends are energetic, so allow time to neutralise and calm afterwards, especially in the evening.  

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