Monday, 17 October 2011

Outreach Yoga Challenge - Day 8 Backbends

Backbends are stimulating and energising postures, they strengthen the spinal muscles while opening the chest, belly and groins. Simple prone backbends are often used as warm up poses linked into Sun Salutations while deeper backbends will generally be placed in the middle section of a class as they require greater strength and opening. Deep backbends should be preceded by thigh stretches, twists and shoulder openers and are generally followed by inversions or seated postures as a way of grounding energy and releasing the spinal muscles.  Upward-facing bow pose, or wheel, or the crab (Urdhva Dhanurasana) should follow bridge pose. Lift up and extend through your shoulders, spine and quads, being careful not to put all the extension on your lower back. Keep your knees close together during the duration of the posture making sure they don’t separate more than the width of your knees. Keep your feet facing straight and not outwards, and avoid splaying your elbows out to the sides to push up the pose. Hold for 5 to 30 seconds, exhale as you bend your arms and slower lower yourself to the floor. You can also raise each leg separately, for a more advanced practice using your core muscles to extend the leg higher.

I’m still studying Anatomy and Physiology in school, and its getting quite intense with lots of scientific and latin words to remember. Class today looked mainly at skins functions and the bone groups and functions. Our body is capable of so many amazing things, healing, remodelling, building and strengthening. A good nutritious diet, aswell as genetics and exercise is very important for both of these structures to maintain health. After I broke both arms last year, it was difficult to practice yoga as I couldn’t support any weight in my arms whatsoever, and this is essential for the production of new bone growth and muscle. Calcium is taken from other bones to rebuild growth, and so its vital to ensure enough absorption and Vitamin D to support this, a supplement can be taken. Yoga has been a great healer physically for myself aswell as emotionally becoming connected with my mind, body and spirit. I’m slowly getting stronger in my arms, remodelling the bones, and although I still click in places I shouldn’t, and have lumps of bone where I shouldn’t I know that through a good diet and listening to my body when it comes to my yoga practice will ensure a healthy recovery. As we get older, our bodies take longer to regenerate and grow bones, and skin back to health, it can be in a remodelling phase for years before they are back to normal again, so be kind on yourself!

This week is dedicated to fulltime study mode, so my nose will be buried deep in books and bones and membranes and muscles, along with Yoga to keep me balanced of course. I have a final class at Shambhala meditation school this evening, and so will be able to take my stillness and use it in everyday life. Ever just sat and watched the clouds without thinking, or smiled at the stars? This group were meditating at the Occupy Vancouver movement, gotta love them for trying right? I felt calmness instantly looking at the light coming from the blonde girl.
Thanks for following Day 8 friends, leave me a comment or if you can afford a few bucks for a donation, its all going to an amazing cause, to help those suffering, show love to a child, not just through the power of Yoga.
Nameste J

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