Such an easy word – Back bend. It’s just bending back. How difficult can this be? For some people it’s a piece of cake , and for others like me it’s great and scary. In life, we generally don’t go backwards for anything; picking up something from the ground- you bend forward, while running- you bend forward, while eating- you move forward and the list goes on. Our mind is trained to this motion consistently, and hence when you challenge your body to go in the opposite direction it definitely involves a freak out session.
Backbends are great. I personally love them. Physically, it strengthens your legs and back opens up your shoulder’s, groin and your heart. Everything is cool, but opening up this heart is the problem.Backbend series in ashtanga yoga is called Nadi shodhana which indicates cleansing the nervous system; stirs up emotions of fear, anger, sadness and reaches the core of your body. I am not just talking about normal Dhanurasana’s , but deep poses like kapotasana or deep drop backs.Sometime’s I wonder why does one have to go through so much pain. What is the purpose? Every Time I get into Kapotasana and come out , I feel a rush of fears being released , I get jittery and attacked by these anonymous fears. The body is a great storage system, not just for food and organs but for emotions. Releasing these emotions by talking or by doing yoga is critical to maintain a healthy mind and body.
This is exactly what backbend’s are about. Dealing with what you have, maintaining endurance and reaching the goal even if it is painful and involves years of practice. You may get kapotasana once a month or may do it perfectly for years and somehow it doesn’t happen all of a sudden. But the lesson is you move on, you accept it and move on.It teaches you not to give up, even if you are screeching in pain you show up to practice to try it everyday- it teaches you consistency, you breathe through pain as you know it will be over, teaches you in life- everything is a phase, You focus on your breath so hard that you forget the pain your pretzel body is going through- teaches you detachment, above all -it teaches you anything is possible if you set your mind.
Bend all you can!