Let’s talk about one of my favorite things to practice back bends. I love them. I read somewhere that no one craves backbends but I beg to differ with that opinion. I crave them they feel good. How they open and stretch the front of the body, yum. It feels so good and invigorating.
As much as I love back bends I also urge caution when starting to practice them. You do not want your lower back to feel as if it is being crunched or hurting. If that happens back out of it. It is about lengthening not how much you can bend your back or how deeply you can get into the bend. You want to create space in your back not compression. Modify if you need to backbends are challenging physically and emotionally.
Backbends can be intimidating we tend to think of Wheel or Bow pose which look spectacular and think, there is no way I can do that. Lucky for us there are phases and plenty of other backbends that are not as bendy. These often get called baby backbends as they are accessible to almost everyone. See the picture above which is a great example of a baby back bend.
Backbends open the heart and let us work through our fears in a safe place, open up to open up. Backbends will move you on an emotional level fear, anger or sorrow can surface. More than one person has cried during or after a backbend practice. The release of what we hold onto can be very powerful. Most of the time you are just going to be facing the pose not your issues.
Learning to calm your mind and not freak out while in a backbend will translate into being able to control your emotions and not live in fear. Backbends let love be the motivator in your life and help you to live fearlessly.