.. front body stretch
Backbends stimulate a passionate response among students, with either unchecked effort or fearful withdrawal. The primary physique purpose of backbends is to open the full movement of breath and energy in the front of the body. In the postures keep assessing rather than judging. Instead of going into the deepest backbend, play your edge emphasising the heart opening qualities and feeling compassion to yourself.
+ USEFUL TIPS;
allow you to UNDERSTAND,
get up to grips.
o SUN SALUTES
o SIDE BENDS
o BACK BENDS
o FORWARD BENDS
o ARM BALANCES
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.
TYPES OF BACK BENDS
The back muscles concentrically contract to over come gravity.
Muscles in the front body eccentrically contract to overcome gravity.
The arms and legs press against an unmovable object (floor, wall or other part of body) to stretch the front of the body.
Within each of these the humerus may be in extension/flexion requiring different areas of engagement or release through the shoulder girdle:
SHOULDER FLEXION BACKBENDS
Flexion requires the rhomboids, lats, pecs and triceps to release.
SHOULDER EXTENSION BACKBENDS
Extension of the arms requires the scapula to be stabilised by the rhomboids, lower traps and serratus anterior while the pecs must release.
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.