Spine is one of the most important parts of a human body. Health of spine determines the health of a human body.
Understanding Forward Bending Asanas
Forward bending asana move the spine into the position known as primary curve, which is the shape of spine in the womb. Forward bending asana are passive in nature and use the force of gravity to stretch the muscle group in question and help release tension and pain. Forward bending is associated with bowing and humility. Inability to bend forward indicates stiff, proud and stubborn personality. Forward bends counteracts mental tension and mental rigidity by loosening up the back, maintaining good health, increasing vitality and adding humility to the personality.
What do Forward bends do?
During the forward bending movement of the spine each of the vertebrae is separated thus stimulating the nerves, improving circulation around spine and nourishing the spinal chord. This group of asana make the back muscles supple and strong, and massages and compresses the abdominal organs like liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines. These asana have a very positive impact on all organs especially the brain. All the forward bend asana produce the following effect:
- Stretch of hamstring, and calf muscles,
- Back stretch of ankle,
- Elongation of spine.
Physical Benefits of Forward bends
overall back stretch is felt with forward bends thus strengthening the entire back of the body including the ankle, calf, hamstring, lower back, spine, and neck. Forward bends remove the stiffness in the hips that tend to accumulate over the period of time, because of lack of any hip movement. Hip stiffness is also the result of continuous sitting that has become very common in our current life style. We may be bending forward multiple times in our day to day activities but this movement is very limited. Usually every adult finds it difficult to bend the spine forward beyond 90 degrees. This stiffness over the period of time becomes so much that it restrict the spine movement completely and even leads to back pain.
Physiological benefits of Forward bends
- Most forward bends tend to decrease hunger and increase blood circulation.
- Forward bends will always press the abdomen against the thighs and so they are always associated with exhalation. Thus in forward bends the body gets rid of CO2 and other impurities.
- Exhalation is the sign of relaxation. Thus Forward bends calm the nervous system and are good for bringing down the high Blood Pressure, only that the head should not drop below the level of the heart.
- Forward bends increase the blood supply to the internal organs and even massages them.
- It is also good for anxious people with anxiety.
Psychological benefits of Forward bends
While performing full forward bends, face usually comes towards your own body giving you the feeling of closing within yourself. This is the reason why regular practice of Forward bend internalize the awareness and takes it within. It brings down the anxiety level and makes us feel safe and let us go inside us like we were in womb of our mother.
Contra indication of Forward bends
Inspite of all the benefits offered by Forward bends they should not be practiced by every one equally. Following issues should be concerned before performing forward bends:
- People with breathing problems like asthma should not do forward bends
- People who are depressed and introvert should not do forward bends.
* people suffering from any kind of back problems should consult their doctor before performing these asana.