It seems like backbends are one of those things in yoga that people either love or absolutely hate. They seem to be so much fun for people who have naturally bendy spines and are painful and stressful for people who really need to work on them. There are a few factors that contribute to how much “success” you find in your backbends. A lot of people focus solely on their back, but that is not where you should be feeling it if you are doing it in a healthy and sustainable way. In today’s article; we are going to chat about your hip flexors and the role they play in developing an aesthetically pleasing and luxurious backbend.
How to Backbend Safely
Before we get into how to deepen your backbend, it is important to point out a few health-related things. First off, not everyone has the skeletal structure to do dramatic backbends. For some people, it does not matter how much you stretch your stomach muscles, because you will just end up causing compression in your spine. Secondly, I already hinted on this, but be sure that your backbends are stretching your stomach, because that is the main area you should feel it. If you feel it in your back, you should stop. Thirdly, be cautious with your backbends, because an injured back can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to heal.
Tight Hip Flexors Versus Your Backbend
Although a backbend itself is involving the core only, a lot of yoga poses with backbends in them extend all the way through the front of your body. Think about upward facing dog, cobra, camel, and wheel pose; they all extend all the way through the front of your body. Your hip flexors obviously don’t apply to any bends that are solely concerning your back/stomach.
A lot of people forget about the connection between backbends and the entire front part of their body. Some of the yoga backbend poses extend to stretching the front of your foot. If you have tight hip flexors it will be extremely difficult for you to ever get into the more dramatic poses without injuring yourself and pulling yourself out of alignment to get in and out of the pose. Working out the tension in your hips will allow you to really sink even deeper into your backbends and press into your hips a little more. It means that you can get deeper into a backbend without having to put any extra stress on your back.
How to Loosen Tight Hip Flexors
Make sure you really focus on yoga poses concerning your hip flexors. Poses like warrior 1 and dragon pose are all amazing at targeting your hip flexors. Yoga is all about connecting with yourself and functioning as a single being. If you move through your practice with this in mind, it will become natural to want to stretch your hip flexors when performing a backbend. The body is a singular unit. Happy back bending!