Although some people find bending over backwards more difficult than standing on their hands, both inversions and backbends energize our body, mind and spirit. And because humans are essentially energy beings, it is vital for us to open ourselves to the types of movement that effectively activate, flow and balance our energy levels.
Everything is energy. You, me, the information swirling around us, and the patterns of our vibration that direct our destiny — all of that is energy, and not only can it be read [felt and understood], it can also be changed! Sandra Anne Taylor
Poses that bend us backwards stretch open the front body including the deeper organs and chakras (energy wheels), which are situated in front of the spine. The seven energy centres, as depicted below, run from the root of the spine to the crown of the head. Each chakra corresponds to specific nerve bundles and organs. Therefore, if any of your chakras are blocked or out of balance, the related chakra and organs will discharge physical and/or emotional sensations or symptoms.
When we repeatedly ignore the early warning signs (sensations) from our body, these sensations harden into symptoms and injuries that are much more difficult to eradicate. So, while you are practising each posture in the following sequence, take notice where sensation is showing up in your body. Use your breath to created space within and around the initial sensation rather than trying to move deeper into the posture. If your breath eases the sensation and more space becomes available, then gently move into that space. If your breath does not ease the sensation, then back out of the posture to reduce the amount of sensation, and try again to ease what sensation remains with your breath.
For the following backbend sequence, continue to practice the yoga actions from previous weeks (Part I). As usual, begin your practice in a seated posture for 3–5 minutes so you can experience the actions below. Then, continue to use the actions in each of the following poses.
1. Draw the front hip bones toward each other.
2. Nutate the top of the sacrum — release it forward into the core of the body. Note how the tailbone shifts away from the core.
3. If you wish, include the Rectus Abdominis action from the inversion sequences.
NOTE: These actions create the conditions for the Mula Bandha (pelvic floor energy lock) to activate — thus, toning and lifting the pelvic floor muscles. Lifting your energy from the pelvis up into your torso stimulates and releases toxins from your organs.
WALL STRETCH 10 – 15 Breaths
– hands press into wall as tailbone extends away from wall
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (Down Dog) 10 Bs
ADHO MUKHA VRKSASANA (Handstand) 2 REPS @ 5 Bs each
SALAMBA MATSYASANA (Supported Fish) 3 – 5 minutes
– medium-height blocks under head & thoracic spine (between shoulder blades)
SALAMBA URDHVA DHANURASANA (Supported Upward Bow) 3 – 5 m
– chair support; front edge of chair seat into upper edge of shoulder blades
– head off block; hands overhead
URDHVA DHANURASANA (Upward Bow) 2 REPS @ 5 Bs each
– blocks at wall; feet on blocks
ARDHA JATHARA PARIVARTANASANA (Half Belly Twist) 20-30 Bs ea side
SAVASANA (Corpse) 5 – 10 ms
– bolster across upper thighs
May energy flow freely throughout your being; neither too little, nor too much. Namaste.