I’m a sitter. And so are you. It’s a fact of our modern day lives.
Regardless of how active you think you are, sitting is the norm and a scary one at that.
Since becoming a “big girl” – I’ve come to realize that the work world involves a chair, a desk, a computer, and me sitting there for multiple hours.
These multiple hours are the arch nemesis of our future! Literally. It’s taking a major toll on our physical and mental health. But never fear friends, yoga is here to save the day. Per usual.
Let’s do an experiment, shall we?
Take a moment and recognize what position you’re currently in right now.
Most likely – the shoulders and back are rounded in a forward position which creates a hunchback shape. This shape closes off the heart and blocks emotion and creativity from flowing. And to make matters worse, the overwhelming majority of the day consists of sitting at a desk, typing on a computer, driving, doing the dishes, folding the laundry.
You get the point.
We are constantly in hunchback shape and closing off our hearts!
Now take another moment – sit up tall, lengthen from the sacrum to the crown of the head, roll the shoulders back and down, broaden across the collarbone, and gently engage the tummy. At first, this position can seem unnatural and even be quite painful.
Keep at it – not every moment of the day but periodically readjust and train the body to know and enjoy this position.
You might be wondering why we just did that quick experiment. And it’s quite simple – to open the heart!
Our heart holds a ridiculous amount of power, creativity, passion, emotion, and LOVE. When we harness this openness and its expansive qualities, life flows naturally. Relationships are deeper. Passion burns brighter. The body is stronger.
The easiest way for you and I to achieve this openness is through a yoga backbend sequence. Backbends can be tough, like really tough.
My best advice is this – always open through the heart center, breathe into the entire body, never move from the low back region, and enjoy the moment. You are literally cracking open your heart and in turn, living an open life.
Benefits of Backbends:
- Stretches the hip flexors, abdominal muscles, and internal organs.
- Opens the chest and shoulders.
- Builds strength in the legs, arms, and back muscles.
- Compresses and flushes the kidneys.
- Relieves anxiety, stress, insomnia, and restlessness.
- Improves breathing.
- Opens your mind to new possibilities.
- Gain new perspective and confidence.
So let’s get to it already, below is a short backbend sequence with counter postures to help reverse our daily lifestyle and move through this crazy world with more compassion, creativity, and LOVE.
1. Cobra Pose + Child’s Pose
2. Cat + Cow
3. Low Lunge + 1/2 Splits
4. Warrior 1 + Humble Warrior
(with bound arms)
5. Bridge Pose + Knees to Chest
6. Wheel Pose + Restorative Forward Fold
7. Savasana + Bolster
When doing any type of backbend sequence, take care to slowly warm up. Never force the body into a shape. It’s not worth it. Move with intention, follow your breath, and tune into what the heart is telling you. With consistent practice and patience, backbends will soon become attainable and enjoyable.
What are your favorite backbends? Do you have a love/hate relationship with cracking open the heart?
Comment below with any questions, suggestions, or general yoga love!
Hey! I’m Allie.
I’m a self-growth student, freedom-seeker, yoga teacher and the founder of a tight-knit online yoga community: the Body Mind Soul Studio. I’m here to teach you how to transform your life on-and-off-the-mat with a holistic yoga practice.
I wanna learn it all!
The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.