Backbends on the Brain

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Backbends have been quite an obsession of mine in my yoga practice since the new year began (and since I’ve started practicing with Yogaglo). I feel very driven at the moment to bend my body in poses that completely open up my heart. Backbends have always been fascinating to me because one needs to have a lot of strength in the pose, as well as an incredible sense of lightness. It’s the balancing of sukha and stiram, ease and steadiness, in these postures that the yoga gurus spoke of.

When I’m in these back-bending poses, a powerful feeling of vulnerability comes over me, as the entire front of my body is opening and expanding. But I find that this type of vulnerability, if I breathe and relax, is very liberating. It’s like I’m releasing all kinds of positive emotions like compassion and love and offering them up into the world. I sort of feel like Leeloo, the supreme being, in the last scene of The Fifth Element (one of my favorite movies), experiencing the emotion of love for the first time ever (sorry for being a spoiler if you haven’t seen it). She strikes an impressive backbend as a beam of light shoots out of her chest and she saves the world. Obviously, back-bending isn’t always this dramatic, but you can catch my drift. Backbends generally serve a great purpose for me right now, as they make me feel alive, compassionate and like I can save the world with my supreme-beingness!

I think I got the back-bending bug when I first saw these Daniel Stark photographs of Kathryn Budig in Santorini, Greece. Wouldn’t you love to have a photographer follow you around somewhere on an island, while you wear a flowy, cotton dress and slip into some effortlessly beautiful yoga poses? I would! Have the best weekend!

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