Mobilizing Your Back
Lesson time 15:23 min
Explore safe backbend variations as Donna discusses the importance of learning how to stabilize what is naturally mobile and mobilize what is naturally stable.
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Topics include: Locust Pose | Salabhasana • Cobra Pose | Bhujangasana • Bow Pose Vinyasa | Dhanurasana
[RELAXING MUSIC] - I'd like to share with you easeful ways of extending your spine. Your spine has unique talents. And not all parts of the spine move equally well in each plane of movement. So understanding this will give you a really good background to be able to do your back bending without hurting your back. Now in our everyday life, there is a tendency for most of us to do repetitive flexion, repetitive forward bending. So it's very good if we can incorporate a little bit of extension into our yoga practice every day. Now how we do this extension is important. There's been a real emphasis within yoga culture to do more and more virtuosic back bends, very, very extreme back bends. Now when that celestial design committee made the body, it really didn't design the spine for doing these very extreme movements of extension. So just know that a little bit goes a long way towards strengthening your back, which is going to help you maintain lifelong erect posture. And how good is that? Because really, this is what we need to use every day. So you need about as much extension in your spine as you would use to pick an apple off a tree. And beyond that, it's bells and whistles. So if you can do a little bit of extension every day, this is a great investment for the longevity of your body, and having this beautiful graceful upright posture for the rest of your life. [RELAXING MUSIC] NARRATOR: Locust Pose or Salabhasana will help prepare you for deeper back bends. You will lay on your abdomen and then lift your feet from the ground in a few different variations. - So to start the practice, Carla's going to bring her hands underneath her groins. I'll show it standing so you can see where that is. My palms are fitting in the crease of my groin, my fingertips down. Now this position essentially takes me a little bit more into flexion, which makes it easier to stabilize my back. Now alternately, you could make fists and press the thumb down towards the floor. Or you could reach your fingertips towards your feet. So you'll find one that feels right for you. So in this first practice, we're going to focus on the movement of the legs. And Carla's going to turn her feet over just slightly so the toes are barely touching the floor. And then on an inhalation, she'll move the legs away from the midline and back towards the midline to a count of four. Now if your back isn't strong, you can keep the movement very small so that you're barely moving away from the midline and then slowly coming back to the midline. As you get stronger, you can move your legs further away from the midline, coming back to the midline. So that's our first set. In the second set, we change planes so that we're tapping the top of the foot to the floor, as if we were slowly swimming in place. We'll keep the legs very, very close to the floor. Now it might not look like much is happening, but I can see and feel her back muscles working ve...
About the Instructor
With nearly 40 years of experience, Donna Farhi is one of the most sought-after yoga instructors in the world. Now the “teacher of teachers” is sharing her approach to creating a safe, sustainable yoga practice with students of all levels. Whether you’re looking to realign with the heart of traditional yoga or are just getting started, learn postures, foundations, and philosophies to guide you on your journey.
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Renowned yoga instructor Donna Farhi teaches you the most essential physical and mental elements of creating a safe, sustainable practice.Explore the Class