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 is 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 pain relief 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 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 min Classes, All Levels Appropriate
  • Learn Postures: Full Wheel, Bow, Camel, King Pigeon, King Dancer, King Cobra, Scorpion & more!
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RECONNECT TO YOUR BODY WISDOM 

Make no mistake; you have that 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. Back-bending is beyond your basic, functional needs, yet backbends can be so 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 even 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 could 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 which I go over in detail n 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 that there exists a practice, pose or technique that is a “one size fits all“. Every body 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 bio-mechanics 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

  1. Live Immersions: 3 Classes Per Week
  2. 200 hour training: Get Certified
  3. 300 Hour Online Training: Get 500hr Certified

 

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 min Classes, All Levels Appropriate
  • Learn Postures: Full Wheel, Bow, Camel, King Pigeon, King Dancer, King Cobra, Scorpion & more!
  • Lifetime Unlimited Access to All

Continue Learning

Best Backbend Technique to relieve back pain

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....

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Yoga and Body Aches: All You Need to Know

Many Americans, including young ones, are often found complaining about back pain and other similar body aches. While some pains are temporary, others are classified as chronic. People try different medicines and therapies to deal with their pain. However, many people are unaware of the benefit of yoga in alleviating the symptoms of body aches, and that’s what we’ll focus on in this blog post.

A yogi mediating

Chronic Pain

Some researches have shown the benefits of yoga for people suffering from arthritis, migraine, fibromyalgia, low back pain, and similar chronic pain complaints. According to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, people with weekly yoga classes experienced increased mobility and comfort. Similarly, a meta-analysis of 17 studies  suggested that yoga might can help you deal with fibromyalgia osteoporosis-related curvature of the spine.

How Does Yoga Help?

During Yoga sessions, you are typically required to practice certain moves and sit in specific positions for 45 to 90 minutes. It’s best to perform under the guidance of an expert, either in person or online. Most yogis begin their session with breathing exercises and focus on relaxing the body and mind. It’s similar to meditation and some spiritual practices. Different positions and techniques might be effective for different parts of the body. Expert yogis are aware of which parts to focus on and how.

Yogis modify Asanas based on various factors such as the purpose of yoga and the strength and experience of the one who’s practicing it.

Reach out to TheYogiMatt for the best advice and yoga practices from anywhere in the world.

Matt Giordano, TheYogiMatt, is a world renowned yoga teacher, and the creator & founder of the global school called Chromatic Yoga.  He is most known for his skillful ability to guide students into postures to awaken their full potential. Matt provides top level teacher trainings in both the 200 and 300 Hour formats.  Visit www.theyogimatt.comto learn more about online classes, immersions and teacher trainings.

Headstand: 3 Ways In

Three Ways In

Headstand is a powerful pose, typically referred to as the King of the Yoga Asanas (poses). While the gurus and masters have long been preaching the importance of headstand, modern-day anatomists often caution against it. Physically speaking my personal relationship with headstand has been mostly positive, while emotionally there were a couple of years of fear around the potential risks. The warnings of many of my teachers, in addition to neck and shoulder pain eventually turned me away from practicing the pose. In recent years I finally discovered the root cause of my neck pain had very little to do with my neck itself and everything to do with an imbalance in one of my rotator cuff muscles causing referral pain. The reason I feel this is important to mention is that when we are in pain we can be so quick to blame that we might miss what is really going on. We see it all the time in modern medicine. Instead of searching for the root cause of our problem, we focus on the symptom. Let me be clear here, I am not saying if you have neck pain you should do Headstand, I am simply stressing the importance of searching for the root of the pain. Dig deep, keep an open mind, and explore.

So when is it appropriate to do headstand? This question is not easily answered as it depends on many factors but here are some basic guidelines to consider.
1. The state of health in your body: Headstand is most appropriate for Yogis with a healthy spine and disks, consult a chiropractor (preferably one that practices yoga) to see if it’s right for you. Same goes for blood pressure irregularities, and of course pregnancy – check with a doctor. If you have other concerns seek professional guidance. If you feel good and know you are in good health, this pose might be your next best friend.
2. Your Level of Practice, strength, and body awareness: In the video, I mention that there are three levels of entering into headstand; beginner-advanced. Personally, as a teacher I feel headstand is for the intermediate level student, so while I talk about the three levels consider that these are meant for the intermediate student. For the advanced Yoga Asana practitioner, there are multiple ways in and out of headstand, and for the beginner I feel it is most important to build the following prior to attempting the pose:

Beginners: Preparatory Strength and Technique

  1. Shoulder Strength: From the moment you begin your yoga practice you are likely building shoulder strength. If your desire is to move toward headstand, I suggest building strength specific to having your arms overhead and in front of you. Downward Dog, Arm Balances, Handstand preparations, Dolphin Pose are all great poses to start off with.
  2. Back Body, Spine Strength: Developing the muscles along the back body and spine will help to stabilize your head, torso, and legs when you are ready to work toward headstand.
  3. Neck Strength: Neck strength can be built in preparation. I recommend doing standing yoga postures with hands behind the head and pressing the head back into the hands. This will also help set the head back which can lead to a more optimal alignment of the spine when in headstand, as well as in daily life.

For my top inversion strength training exercises, check out my Handstand Video at www.TheYogiMatt.com/Handstand

Benefits of The 3 Approaches

While scrolling through Instagram and Facebook over the past year or so there is obviously a strong desire to invert amongst yogis. It is beautiful to see the determination amongst practitioners to conquer their fears and prove to themselves that they can do more than they ever could imagine. That dedication toward results typically comes with hazardous experimentation, and maybe a little bit of (dare I say) impatience? I am not innocent when it comes to this topic, which is why I wanted to offer what I have learned along the way to help speed up your overall journey, and potentially save you from some of what I have gone through. I know everyone has to go through their own journey, and I know some of you out there are indeed looking for guidance, and are excited to learn. So if you are interested in the techniques and tools that will develop and empower your practice, I have created a video highlighting three challenging yet highly effective approaches toward headstand. Each one builds strength for the next, so my suggestion is beginners really master the first one without lifting the feet off the ground, and advanced practitioners use all three as drills to build body awareness and strength.

The 3 Approaches

 

  1. Half Tuck: The Half tuck teaches the shifting of weight from the feet to the head and arms while not demanding as much body awareness and hamstring flexibility. The first step is simply learning how to point the foot that is on the ground in order to shift your weight. In the video I use a block as a method to get around tight hamstrings. You may stack more than one block so long as you feel stable. The second part of this is to tuck your second leg into your body and balance in a “tuck” position. This may be highly challenging, but keeping your legs in a tuck has the benefit of being low to the ground. Lower center of gravity is easier to balance and therefore can be a safer place to learn balance. I would say that while there is always a risk when balancing upside down, the risk is less than in a full headstand.
  2. Full Tuck: Once you find repeated success with the tuck position and feel comfortable holding it for more than a minute you might try coming straight into a tuck position rather than one leg at a time. This is more challenging on many levels but mostly it requires greater flexibility in the hamstrings, and a stronger sense of proprioception (knowing where your body is in space). If this entrance is feeling great, the second aspect of it is to start extending at the hip joint, bringing your knees upward. How high up to bring the knees will depend on your level of comfort and balance.
  3. Straight Leg Press: Going Straight into a headstand through what is called a pike position in gymnastic and acrobatic language, is definitely the most challenging. It requires tremendous body awareness, low back, and buttock strength. It requires that the hamstrings are both flexible and strong. I highly recommend getting comfortable tucking all the way up and being able to hold a straight headstand for over a minute prior to attempting this.

Note: For all three approaches be sure to have a teacher around to support you and be your eyes for what you cannot see.

Beyond the Entry

Getting into headstand is just the start of the journey. Holding the balance while breathing steady and keeping your mind focused is the real exciting and beneficial part. I love to focus on my spinal curves while upside down, finding the most enjoyable balance. I also love to play with taking pressure off my neck which I will go over in my next blog and video!

To get started with your strength training and development of body awareness visit TheYogiMatt.com/Handstand. If you know someone that would benefit from this information please share the blog on social media or email. For questions please feel free to reach out to me directly: Matt@TheYogiMatt.com

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