Most of us are stuck to our workstation for long hours every day. Whether it is a 9-5 job or a freelance stint, there is no avoiding the desk at least 5 days a week or even more. This directly affects the spine, the back muscles, the pelvic bones, and the muscles of the legs. Back pain, pelvic pain, slip discs, and more ensue which can make daily life difficult. Pain meds can bring in some relief but that’s short-lasting. Moreover, the side effects of painkillers are too many to count. A more holistic approach would be backbends that take off pressure from the spine. It counteracts the continuous forward bend that happens as we sit in the same position at a stretch.
15 Reasons Why Yoga Backbends Are Good For You?
The benefits of backbends are many. Also known as front body stretches, backbends have been an integral part of yoga for ages. They can be practiced by people of all age groups and the results are astounding, to say the least. Let’s see how backbends can change your physical and mental state:
Improves spinal flexion
Sitting in the same position for several hours a day can put extreme pressure on the spine and the vertebrae. This pressure can affect spine health and result in extreme lower back pain as well as stiffness along the spine. A back bend stretch can help release this stress and restore the vertebrae to their natural position and prevent pinching of the spinal cord that causes back pain.
Strengthens the body
A backbend yoga pose directly targets the muscles of the abdomen, legs, arms, and back. So, when you do backbend exercise, you strengthen these muscles for better core health.
Relieves tension and stress
Another important benefit of backward bending asanas is that they help relieve stress and tension. Stress is a silent killer but it is very difficult to avoid it in a modern lifestyle. That’s why you need a way to de-stress and calm your mind and body. That’s exactly what back bend does. Opening up the chest helps to get rid of the built-up stress and refreshes the mind and body. This breaks through stress and relieves tension.
Prolonged sitting in a hunched position can make the spine stiff and affect your motor abilities in the long run. Practicing backward bend yoga regularly can counteract this effect by improving spinal flexibility.
Boosts emotional health
Certain yoga poses are known to open up the heart chakra. Backbends expose the front portion of the body which makes it vulnerable. This vulnerability helps your emotions, relationships, and experiences which are usually pushed deep down. This allows the natural release of emotional stress that is stored in the form of anger, fear, frustration, joy, love, etc. which allows better control over one’s emotions.
Stretch hip flexors
Pain in the upper groin may result from tight hip flexor muscles as you lift your knees or bend from the waist down. An easy way to get rid of this problem is to practice backward bending yoga that stretches the hip flexor muscles.
Improves breathing patterns
As you open out your chest and shoulder during a back-bending yoga pose, the lungs are relieved of the tension that exists. Cramped up lungs can make breathing uneasy and shallow. With more space available during a backbend, the lungs can take in more air and expand. This automatically improves oxygen supply to the heart and other parts of the body.
Energizes the body
One of the important benefits of yoga backbends is that it fills up the body with newfound energy. Regular practice of backbends helps stimulate various body chakras that release energy. This invigorates the body and makes you feel more energized and active.
Focuses on internal organs
One of the crucial backbends benefits is that it works on the abdomen and other internal organs of the body. Most workouts or exercises focus on the musculoskeletal system. As a result, the internal organs receive little or no attention at all. A short session of backbends can allow the cramped organs to restore to their original form, allowing them to work better.
As already mentioned, backbend can help calm the mind. This not only helps you de-stress but also aids in treating insomnia. Restlessness is one of the primary causes of insomnia. Racing thoughts can make it difficult to fall asleep. In such a situation, the camel back bending pose can prove to be useful. This posture can put a stop cock on erratic thoughts and calm you down for better sleep.
Most backbend poses will put pressure on the kidneys. However, this is not harmful, unless you put too much pressure that can damage them. In fact, this pressure compresses the kidneys and on the release of pressure, fresh blood and oxygen gush into them. This allows the kidneys to work better and maintain the necessary body functions.
Modern lifestyle can greatly affect the overall immunity of the body. A weak immune system fails to combat the barrage of new and improved harmful microorganisms. A back bend stretch can prove very useful in this regard. During a stretch, the thymus is compressed and then, released. This process works as a stimulus and triggers the thymus to pump up the immune system, thus offering better protection.
Resuscitates the nervous system
The benefits of backbends aren’t limited to spinal posture and help. It also extends to other parts of the CNS. A backbend can help infuse more cerebrospinal fluids into the system that provides protection and nourishment to the brain.
Gives you confidence
As mentioned earlier, backbend asanas can push you out of your comfort zone. When this happens, you are made to face your emotional and spiritual fears. But instead of breaking you up, it makes you stronger psychologically. You become more patient and confident which can help you stand up against the obstacles of life.
Offers new perspective
When the body is in a back bending pose, you get to see things in a new way. This opens up your spiritual self to new things, new ideas, and new perspectives. With fresh ideas and perspectives flooding your mind, you can make your way through the humdrum of life and do better things for a better future.
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Are Yoga backbends safe?
Yes. Backbends are safe if preceded by a proper warm-up. Also, ensure that you accurately follow instructions for a particular pose and keep your alignment right. People suffering from spondylolisthesis or spinal stenosis should avoid backbends.
Why are backbends energizing?
One of the well-known backbend benefits is that it energizes the body. This happens because it triggers the nervous system to send bouts of energy to the body. Moreover, since it improves blood circulation and oxygen uptake which provides more energy to the body.
Are backbends good for abs?
Yes. Back bending yoga pose massages the internal organs and also works on the abdominal muscles. Poses like bridge pose, cobra pose, fish pose, half bow pose, etc. stretch and tone the abdominal muscles for a strong core.
Is it bad to bend backward?
No. In fact, most people you meet will talk about backbend benefits. Unless you have a condition of the spine, you can safely practice backbends.
What muscles do backbends work on?
Different backbend poses target different muscles of the body. In general, yoga backbend benefits can be seen in the pectoral muscles, calf muscles, gluteal muscles, etc.
Are backbends healthy?
Yes. There are many benefits of backbends in yoga. Practicing backbends can keep your spine, heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, and abdominal organs healthy.
Yoga is one of the holistic ways to be healthy even when the world around you is turning poisonous. With backbends, it is possible to treat symptoms of chronic pain in the back, shoulders, and neck. It also does a great job at energizing the mind and body and combating stress. That is why any yoga session should include a series of back bend exercises targeting your pain points.