Isn’t it strange, that the one thing that could make the biggest difference to you and your body is something almost nobody talks about? I mean, if there’s a pill for it why bother?
OK, let’s skip the cynicism. What I mean is that, years and years could pass you by, you could go to the doctor, exercise and do sport anywhere including at school, and talk to or be taught by literally dozens of people and never be advised to do this.
I’m talking about backbends.
I can’t remember what the teacher said to me in high school when I attended yoga on my first occasions. But I am absolutely sure that nobody else, and that includes my doctor, yoga school master, yoga teacher training guru, an orthopedic surgeon I saw, anyone at school, at home, my mom, any friends, nobody in Phys Ed classes ever said I should do backbends. Not a word, nada, zip, nothing, zilch!
It’s crazy! I mean, before you started yoga, did you know that BACKBENDS were a CRUCIAL part of your overall health?
These days there really is a posture epidemic. Seeing elderly people stooping makes me stand up straighter. Hopefully it makes you stand up and walk right too! Because it’s pretty eye-opening to see someone umpteen years your senior with a hump on their back, stooping or walking with difficulty and realize you could be headed right there if you’re not careful.
But what REALLY makes my tummy turn is when I see teenagers with horrific stooping postures. Where are the people telling them that they are in for a long and bumpy future riddled with the possibility of worsening health and even worse posture (each making the other continually worse)?
Yep, young people with the bodies of 80 year olds is SCARY.I am positive that if we were taught from a young age to incorporate backbends into our lives then many of today’s problems could be a lot less prevalent.
Bend over backwards for your health … and reverse a few ills while you’re at it!
You see, most of your life happens while you’re bending forward!
Think about it. And simply look around. You sit, you stretch out for things, you do just about anything and it’s in reach through a forward bend, even if it’s up or down or under a bench. Chairs, desks, cupboards, keyboard heights and bench tops. You name it.
And to be honest you would be crazy to construct your world to make you do back bends to reach for things!
What we really need is an antidote to constant forward-bending & shoulder-rounding.
Well … H E L L O O O YOGA!
A well-designed class is actually a great balance of back AND forward bends. But the lion’s share of your time in the room will be doing backbends.
You may not know this. I certainly didn’t. The debilitating pain from herniated and so-called slipped discs is actually mostly caused by FORWARD bends. At least it gets worse with forward bends. In fact back bending could be YOUR way of treating it without having to resort to surgery.
And now for some well-placed logic..
Your spine WANTS to bend and has the CAPABILITY to bend in all directions (which we will loosely label as forward, back, left and right). So practicing backbends will actually counter the forward movements that we can’t help doing almost every waking moment (and even some of our sleeping ones)!
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