Yoga Backbends: What You Need To Know About This Pose


Yoga Backbends: What You Need To Know About This Pose

Feb 20, 2014 //

Your spine is an incredible combination of flexibility and strength. Large muscles and strong bones protect sensitive nerves, while flexible tendons and ligaments allow your spine to move in all different ways. With a regular yoga backbend sequence, you can increase mobility and strengthen the supporting muscles around the skeleton.

Yoga Backbend Sequence

Backbends offer some fundamental principles and techniques that play a strong role in strengthening the core. Yoga backbends poses are divided into three broad categories:

Traction: Where the body is bending with gravity and the muscles on the front of the body are active, helping to control the rate of movement and range. Poses include camel pose or dropping back to wheel pose.

Leverage: Where the strength of your legs or arms are used to deepen the backbend. Poses such as Bow or Cobra contributed to leverage.

Contraction: Where the muscles on the back contract to overcome gravity. Poses you can relate to are the ones where you lie prostrate such as Locust.

Backbend Yoga Poses

Prior to engaging into yoga backbend poses, begin warm-up routine. It is very important to properly warm up before you start backbends, it will lower the chance of injury and offer greater balance.

Warm up poses for backbends:  Cat Cow variations and Sun salutations. These poses will enable your muscles and prepare your spine to go easy through the Cobra pose or Upward Facing Dog pose.

Backbends benefit from open and relaxed hips to surrounding muscles including the thighs and the psoas. Lunge or reclined hero pose are also considered worthy for the thigh.

Role Of Glutes In Backbend

Many people are confused about whether your glutes should be relaxed or flexed when doing a backbend pose. Well it’s almost impossible for the glutes to stay relaxed, anything that you do in that backbend connects the whole area of your spine and its surrounding muscles. When you are doing the bridge pose create an action of drawing the heels towards you with feet intact this burns muscles of your legs hamstrings and lower glutes offering a nice challenging warm-up.

Physical Benefits Of Yoga Backbend

  • Stretch and open up shoulders and chest where we hold tension.
  • Stretch hip flexors.
  • Strengthen legs, arms and particularly back muscles.
  • Improves posture by increasing mobility of the spine.
  • Alleviates back and neck pain.

Psychological Benefits

Backbends open our upper body and chest stimulating the heart chakra allowing us to open even fuller to our lives, experiences, relationships and most of all emotions.

When we are in danger our body’s usual response is to curl in, this means protecting our most vulnerable spot/part, that is, the heart. Backbends are the very opposite, they signify exposing oneself to the world which takes courage. Doing a backbend for the first time can perplex and overwhelm you due to the alignment and complex positioning but this very action also infuses courage to attempt the backbend.

The Backbend Bench Equipment

Yoga backbend bench is a beautiful crafted bench which facilitates a huge variety of stretches and poses. It has the following physiological benefits:

  • Stretch chest and shoulder muscles.
  • Stretch pelvic and abdominal muscles and organs.
  • Relives stress, depression and hypertension.
  • Counteracts humpback.

The yoga backbend bench provides a unique combination of back-muscle stretch and spinal traction.


Backbends help in improving posture and boosting confidence. Do it safely and mindfully to enjoy its amazing benefits.

Alice Toyonaga

Alice Toyonaga, also known as ChatterRunGirl, is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast and avid goal-setter. She has spent the last 9 years of her life redefining her definitions of physical and mental health, genuine happiness, and appreciation and gratitude for a fit and strong body. Alice’s goal is to integrate yoga and running and work with all levels of athletes to improve their performance and keep them healthy in their bodies.

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