Spine is the center of attention in Yoga practice. Backward bending asana are the ones in which the spine is bend backward i.e. when we bend our spine towards the buttocks.
Understanding Backward Bending Postures
The most common form of spinal movement is bending forward, which we practice multiple times during a day. Backward bending asana go against this norm. We hardly do anything to bend the spine backward. This is the reason why, anyone who starts to practice back bend finds them challenging. These postures require a lot of strength and energy to perform them. They are active in nature, and would usually cause, elevated heart rate, breathing and sweating.
What do back bends do?
As we move the spine in the backward bend, it tends to open the chest. This in-turn works on the chest cavity and gives more space to your lungs to be more functional and effective. Back bends encourage inhalation and are associated with the attitude of embracing the life. They turn out the body and make the person ready to face the world.
Physical benefits of Back bends
Like any other exercise form Yoga also has an impact on your physical body. When the spine is bend backward the abdominal muscles get stretched. Regular practice of back bend tones the abdominal muscles where as the back muscles get stronger. The spinal nerve between the vertebrae gets decompressed thus creating beneficial repercussions throughout the body. Body elongates by the loosening of joints. In general back bends help in improving hunch back and drooping shoulders.
Physiological benefits of Back bends
Most back bends are good for constipation and gas. Back bends stimulates and regulates the endocrine system thus there is a right amount of secretion of hormones in the body. Back bends are also good for the nervous system as they realign and maintain the stacked pile of vertebrae in thes spine thus correcting the neuro-muscular disorder in the vertebral column. Impure blood has the tendency to accumulate in the back region where the blood circulation tends to be sluggish and back bends circulate, purify and enrich the blood in this region.
Psychological benefits of Back bends
Yoga works on our mind too, and by doing so it affects us psychologically. Back bends require a lot of focus, concentration and alertness of mind. Thus regular practice of Back bends have the following benefits on the practitioner:
- Increases alertness, concentration and confidence.
- Prepares for the outside world, and overcoming fear.
- Helps in accepting the worldly challenges.
- Also helps in shedding the shy attitude and become extrovert.
Contra indications of Back bends
Inspite of all the benefits that the back bends offer they can not be suggested to be practiced by everyone. Following people should not practice back bends at all, or practice them in controlled environment:
- People with severe back ailments
- People with weak heart
- People suffering from high BP, coronary thrombosis, ulcer hernia, intestinal TB should not do backward bending asana without the advice of their doctor.