Best Backbend Technique to relieve back pain

BACKBEND TECHNIQUE TO RELIEVE BACK PAIN

“BOWING THE SPINE”

Bowing The Spine

Why are backbends uncomfortable for many people?

Can we do anything to change this?

Let’s dive into my #1 backbend technique to relieve back pain and provide you with maximum range of motion. Before we do, though, we need to first acknowledge that backbends are not something most of us do every day. Quite the opposite. When was the last time you bent over backwards to type on your computer, eat a meal, or scroll through Instagram? It’s not a typical functional movement, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve our health and well-being.

A healthy spine has the capability to move forward and back. The easiest starting point to relieve pain is always to figure out what your dominant movement or posture is, and slowly work to reverse it. Simply put, strengthening the back muscles and lengthening the front body muscles is the first step toward feeling great in your back. HOW to do this is the challenge.

Intuitively, we know how to move our bodies, but that gets lost due to conditioned, repetitive patterning. Think of babies just about to crawl — they push themselves up into a back-bending low Cobra first and then eventually learn how to coordinate the knees. Somehow they figure out what needs to happen to be able to move. Before your yoga practice, when was the last time your peeled yourself off the floor and did something like that Cobra? So give yourself a break. If backbends are uncomfortable, it’s not because you aren’t capable; your adult body just needs to learn it again.

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes [backbend technique to relieve back pain "bowing the spine']

"HEART OPENERS" IMMERSION

  • Increase spinal range of motion
  • Master techniques like “bowing the spine”
  • Release stress patterns, discomfort, or pain in your back
  • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
  • Learn postures: Full Wheel, Bow, Camel, King Pigeon, King Dancer, King Cobra, Scorpion, and more!
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RECONNECT TO YOUR BODY WISDOM

Make no mistake — you have the same inner wisdom that you did as a child, but it takes some retraining. What’s more, your body develops muscle memory from all the physical and emotional contracting you do during the day. Soon, shoulders slump forward, bringing your neck and head along with them. Arms move closer together and your chest caves in.

Yoga brings awareness to the felt sense of your physical potential beyond just basic needs. Backbending is beyond your basic, functional needs, but backbends can be enriching and healing.

Learning anything new requires focused effort, routine, repetitive practice, and failure. The process is no different when it comes to learning postures in your body, except for one important distinction: Failing body postures can lead to short- or long-term injury.

To minimize risk, we have to apply smart techniques and step-by-step actions informed by contemporary anatomy education. Rather than repeating the same uncomfortable backbends over and over, hoping for change, you learn and apply new techniques. With time and repetition, you can develop the appropriate strength and flexibility that can lead to joyful backbends.

 

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WHAT IS “BOWING THE SPINE”?

THE #1 BACKBEND TECHNIQUE TO RELIEVE BACK PAIN AND INCREASE SPINAL FLEXIBILITY

“Bowing the spine” is a technique that combines a few key elements that I go over in detail in the video below. The dominant action is sliding your intervertebral discs forward, which requires a deliberate shifting of your rib cage. The secondary action is lengthening the distance between the upper and lower body.

If you want to try this technique in your practice and learn how to develop greater strength, range of motion, and body awareness with backbends, join me for May’s 12-class immersion: Heart Openers: Discover the Joy of Backbending

FREE VIDEO PODCAST ON BOWING THE SPINE WITH PROFESSOR MATT

To implement this technique and access your spinal potential, check out

 Heart Openers: Discover the Joy of Backbending

WILL THIS WORK FOR EVERYONE?

I personally don’t believe there is a practice, pose, or technique that is “one size fits all“. Everybody is different, and some techniques will be more appropriate for one body than another. I came to yoga with scoliosis, a super tight psoas, and daily back pain. Doing any backbend was torture for me. Today, backbends are my go-to pose to reset my spine and get back to feeling great in my body. Did that happen overnight? Absolutely not. It took years of practice and refinement. Bowing the spine is a backbend technique to relieve back pain and help you gain greater range of motion in your spine, but the technique itself cannot do it for you. Remember, you are the one doing the pose; the pose doesn’t do you. In other words, never try to fit yourself into a shape. Allow your body to find its own posture. That said, like any great challenge, we must learn the skills necessary to gracefully dance through it.

release low back pain in backbends with the spinal reset immersion

SPINAL RESET

Reset your spine with 12 classes focused on backbends, side bends, twists, and forward folds. This immersion is a great way to learn the biomechanics of the upper body. Get lifetime, unlimited access to all 12 classes today! 

FINAL THOUGHTS ON IMPLEMENTING THE BACKBEND TECHNIQUE TO RELIEVE BACK PAIN, “BOWING THE SPINE”

If you want to balance your habitual physical patterns, backbends are an EXCELLENT practice to do so. Be sure that you are not just practicing shapes — that will tend to cause pain. Instead, practice techniques that give you access to the appropriate physical expression for your particular body. To learn how to apply this technique properly in your body, it is best to implement it under the guidance of someone who understands it within their own body. I highly recommend getting the Heart Openers 12-class immersion in order to take the step-by-step journey that will not only leave you feeling proficient with the technique but also give you access to a wider range of backbend postures.

TOP RELEVANT RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. HEART OPENERS: Discover The Joy of Backbending [12-class immersion]
  2. “Journey to Bliss” (includes Full Wheel Workshop + 11 more master classes)
  3. THE SPINAL RESET: Back Bend, Side Bend, Twist [12-class immersion]

MORE WAYS TO DEVELOP YOUR PRACTICE

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yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes

"HEART OPENERS" IMMERSION

  • Increase spinal range of motion
  • Master techniques like “bowing the spine”
  • Release stress patterns, discomfort, or pain in your back
  • Twelve 75-minute classes, all levels appropriate
  • Learn postures: Full Wheel, Bow, Camel, King Pigeon, King Dancer, King Cobra, Scorpion, and more!
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

Continue Learning

Bow Pose: Where to Breathe in a Backbend

Bow Pose: Where to Breathe in a Backbend

BOW POSE—WHERE TO BREATHE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEBOW POSEThe Challenge of breathing in backbendsEver feel short of breath in a backbend? You aren't the only one. Where to breathe in a backbend is a popular question, and rightfully so. If you look at...

read more
side plank variations

side plank variations

Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture. Not only that, but Matt is...

read more
King Cobra Pose Tutorial

King Cobra Pose Tutorial

KING COBRA POSE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEKING COBRA5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra PoseNot all that glitters is gold, and without the right approach, this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health. King Cobra...

read more
Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEShoulder AlignmentWILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENTWhat is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this, we would first have to define the guidelines for "right" and "wrong."...

read more
hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTTANASANA, PYRAMID POSEWhen it comes to our asana practice, more often than not, the subject of our knees is a hot topic. Typically, we’re...

read more
deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice, or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

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Spanda: Secret of Life

Spanda

Life’s Little Secret

What is Spanda

Spanda is one of the foundational teachings from the ancient tantric philosophies. To be clear, I am referring to the yoga traditions not the modern westernized term for sexual practices. Spanda refers to the pulse of the universe, the essence of life’s natural cycle and rhythm that is always occurring. What that really means is that everything in life is either moving toward expansion or contraction. For example, a seed that drops from a flower at the end of its life lands on the ground in a contracted state of pure potential. If that seed makes its way into the dirt and receives enough water and sunlight, it will move towards its expansion. The seed will begin to grow roots downward and eventually flowers upward. The seed represents limitless potential, while the flower is the manifestation of that potential. At the end of its life, the flower drops several seeds onto the earth and the cycle of potential begins yet again. The teaching is a reminder that all phases of the seed’s life are natural and inevitable. Even in its death, it leaves behind potential.

SEEING SPANDA IN OUR LIFE  

At first, this teaching can be something nice to think about, however, when you really observe your life you will begin to notice that it exists everywhere. Knowing that there is always a cycle of potential and manifestation, perhaps we could be less surprised and shaken when the projects, relationships, and circumstances of our life die and come back to the pure state of potential. The issue most of us face emotionally is that we believe everything that is happening now will continue to happen forever. This causes us tremendous suffering on both sides. Do you agree? Have you ever taken for granted the good things in your life? Have you lost something or someone special and spent far too long not moving forward? Yes, we all have, and this is where the teaching becomes helpful. It reminds us of the natural pulse of the universe, that sometimes we are the seed, eager to attain what we need in order to dig our roots into the earth and grow tall into our fullest manifestation. The eagerness is great, but it usually turns into impatience, forcefulness, or a retraction into the protective state of being where we give up far too soon wishing there was a shortcut. On the other side, there are aspects of our life where we are the flower, manifested and full of beauty. We all love this part of the process because it feels like everything is going the way we want it to. The potential downfall is either taking for granted the beauty of our life or simply lacking the clarity to see what we have created or who we have become. Look at your life. Where is your potential? Can you embrace the process, step into it, and let it unfold with every step? Look at what you have already created. Can you see it clearly without a sense of insecurity and self-doubt and find gratitude for who you have become and what you have built? 

Where can I practice with teachers who talk about spanda?

Chromatic Yoga Teachers around the world are teaching about Spanda in their classes. Find one near you at www.ChromaticYoga.com  

Embrace your potential

Most of our life is spent realizing our potential. To truly love life we must enjoy both the expansion and the contraction. This requires the ability to see the direction of your your actions. If you know where you are going and that you will get there, than you can relax right where you are now.

The Joy of Spanda

At first, the teaching of spanda was hard for me to embrace. I was annoyed at it in the beginning but I could see with great clarity that it was a teaching rooted in truth, not belief. It took some time to stop resisting the truth. I wanted to believe that if I practiced enough yoga and self-awareness I could live a life that is always in that sweet spot of expansion. The essence of what I was wanting was to feel the joy and freedom that I felt in the expanded states of life, and over time I realized that I could feel that regardless of the phase of spanda that my life was in. This is not about avoiding sadness, pain, or the challenges of life. It’s simply about having perspective and recognizing that life is a gift – ALL of it.

To apply this approach to the body,  I recommend you check out Hips: Rock and Unlock ‘Em! This online workshop is a journey through what I call the 4 quadrants of the hips, supporting you on the path toward mastery of the inner thighs, outer hips, posterior chain, and hip flexors. 

Elements of Mastery

The most in-depth online yoga immersion offered by Matt Giordano. This immersion contains several full-length workshops focusing on how the body relates to nature’s elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, & Space. In addition to deepening your physical practice, you will learn anatomy, adjustments, and the approach to Mastery!

Continue Learning

Bow Pose: Where to Breathe in a Backbend

Bow Pose: Where to Breathe in a Backbend

BOW POSE—WHERE TO BREATHE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEBOW POSEThe Challenge of breathing in backbendsEver feel short of breath in a backbend? You aren't the only one. Where to breathe in a backbend is a popular question, and rightfully so. If you look at...

read more
side plank variations

side plank variations

Side Plank Variations VASHISTASANA • MODIFICATIONS • TUTORIALSIDE PLANKExtended Side plank variations  [Click Below to listen to the Audio Version of "Extended Side Plank"]There are definitely more ways than one to access a yoga posture. Not only that, but Matt is...

read more
King Cobra Pose Tutorial

King Cobra Pose Tutorial

KING COBRA POSE  YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEKING COBRA5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra PoseNot all that glitters is gold, and without the right approach, this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health. King Cobra...

read more
Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

Wild Thing Shoulder Alignment

WILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENT ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUEShoulder AlignmentWILD THING SHOULDER ALIGNMENTWhat is the correct shoulder alignment for the pose we call Wild Thing? To answer this, we would first have to define the guidelines for "right" and "wrong."...

read more
hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

hyperextension of the knee in pyramid pose

KNEE HYPEREXTENSION HOW TO SOLVE HYPERMOBILITY IN PYRAMID POSEKNEE HYPEREXTENSIONKNEE HYPEREXTENSION: PROTECT YOUR KNEES IN PARSVOTTANASANA, PYRAMID POSEWhen it comes to our asana practice, more often than not, the subject of our knees is a hot topic. Typically, we’re...

read more
deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

deeper twists and spinal mobility with the fire line

DEEPER TWISTS INCREASE SPINAL MOBILITY WITH THE FIRE LINEDEEPER TWISTSDEEPER TWISTS & SPINAL MOBILITY: "FIRE LINE"Do you correlate strength with twisting postures in your yoga practice, or is it flexibility that comes to mind first?  There’s no doubt that both...

read more

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Learn the techniques that make Handstand fun, easy and accessible! This 2 part course consists of the top most effective exercises will increase your strength and technique so you can easefully balance a handstand.

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SHOULDER REVELATION

In this 12 class immersion  you will practice specific techniques to strengthen and unlock your shoulders. Each class focuses on a specific joint articulation and muscle group so you gain mastery in the shoulders.

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HEART OPENERS

Finally, a 12 class immersion designed specifically to help you discover the freedom of heart openers. Learn how to avoid uncomfortable compression, and awaken your true range of motion in a step by step manner.

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THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe You Will Get Instant Access To

  • The Technique Pack: 15 Yoga Pose Breakdowns
  • Exclusive Online Course Discounts
  • Exclusive Blogs and Videos
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