Bend it like a yogini! Know the health benefits of backbends in yoga

All the parts of your body are important as they have different roles in performing a range of functions on a daily basis. When it comes to your back, it helps to support your body weight. Without a strong back, it will be difficult for you to move around. So, it is important to keep your back in good shape. While there are many back exercises, there’s nothing quite as effective as yoga backbends. They may look like they can be done only by people who are really flexible, but consistency and patience will help you nail them. Let us tell you about the benefits of backbends to convince you about the difference they can bring to your life.

To know about backbends, Health Shots reached out to Dr Mickey Mehta, a holistic health guru and corporate life coach.

yoga pose
Backbend has many healthy benefits. Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are backbends?

Doing backbends is quite easy for dancers or gymnasts. From an upright position, they just arch backwards and then go downwards till their hands touch the ground. The easier way is to arch upwards from a horizontal position, with the help of hands and feet. Backbend also features in many yoga poses. Dr Mehta says that backbends are generally stimulation and elongation of the spine. It involves arching the spine in the opposite direction from its natural curvature. In backbend poses, the chest and the heart are lifted upward opening up the front part of the body.

Benefits of backbends

Backbends allow blood circulation and elasticity of the back to remain intact or rather get better. Here are some more health benefits:

1. Backbend helps your mind

It brings about a certain kind of alertness and attention to your stability for balance. So, it also helps to improve focus and concentration, says the expert.

2. Backbends improve strength

Doing backbends regular can strengthen your lower back as they give a good stretch. They can also make your abdominal area stronger as they help to reduce the fat and improve functions of your internal organs. Backbends have a positive impact on the diaphragm as the movement of full diaphragm enables full immunity functions to optimal capacity.

3. Backbends rejuvenate your organs

Stretching your stomach and stimulating your organs helps fresh oxygen-laden blood to enter your organs. That helps to rejuvenate your organs.

king cobra pose
Backbend helps to improve your posture. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Backbends promote good posture

Backbends can strengthen your back, chest and shoulders. They help to increase flexibility, and improve mobility. That helps to promote good posture.

Backbends in yoga

There are some common backbend yoga asanas. Let’s take a look!

1. Virabhadrasana

• Stand straight, join your hands and bring it up.
• Bring your right leg forward at 90 degrees angle.
• Slightly lean backwards and come back in standing position.

2. Ustrasana

• Start in Vajrasana, and come up in a kneel down position with your toes inwards.
• Slowly raise your hands and then touch your heels.
• Bring your hips forward and lean your upper body in backward direction.
• Bend your head and spine and take them as back as possible then come down in Balasana position.

3. Chakrasana

• Lie down on your back and fold your legs with knee facing upwards.
• Place your palms on either side of your face and raise your body up while balancing on hands and feet.

Yoga backbends
Backbends are a favourite yoga asanas among Bollywood celebrities! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Dhanurasana

• Lie down on your stomach and fold your legs from your knee and hold your ankles.
• Raise your head and chest upwards and pull your legs outwards and backwards so that your spine gets arched back. Stabilise on the abdomen and then slowly come back.

5. Bhujangasana

• Lie down on your stomach and keep your hands folded at your elbow next to your chest.
• Slowly raise your torso upwards and then come down.

You don’t always have to go all the way down to do yoga backbend. Just be gentle before taking on more challenging backbend yoga poses.

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