Backbending is quite a sharp turn for most practitionners. Backbendings are strong and demanding postures. They require a lot of strenght to handle wether it be physical, emotionnal or mental. Backbends relate to the backside of the body, the unconscious, what we don't want the outside world to see and generates a lot of fearamongst all type of emotions. Fear of bending back, fear of injury, fear of what you might feel, fear of opening up, fear of letting go and the list could go on. Facing the challenge is necessary to overcome our fears and eventually let go of apprehension. Once we have made it, backbends are heart opening, and an act of trust in yourself and faith in the universe. Let's practice this with camel pose, ustrasana in sanskrit.
Like most backbend, ustrasana access your nervous system and triggers all sorts of emotions and help in managing your response to stress. It is also a great stimulation to boost your energy level.
Start in a kneeling position, knees hips width apart.
Keep the chin tucked in.
Place your hands on the lower back, thumbs touching at the base of the sacrum.
Initiate the mouvement from the ground, squeeze the thighs in, it acts as an entire support for the posture. The stronger your base is, the more you can to extend the spine as you move into the posture and avoid pinching nerves or crushing vertebrae.
Breath in, squeeze the pelvic floor, suck the lower belly and stretch the spine up. As you breath out keep the extension.
Breath in again, extend the rib cage, lift the sternum up.
Breath out, push the hips forward, slowly reach back bringing the elbows closer to each other, if you can release the hands onto the soles of the feet.
With each in breath bring your awareness to the expansion of the chest and push the sternum up. With each out breath keep the spine long and push the knees against the floor, squeezing the thighs.
If you feel comfortable, gently relax the head back.
Breath throughout the whole process, there shouldn't be any tension in the neck. There are usually caused by fear of letting yourself go all the way back and improper breathing. But of course the list is unexhaustive and you are the only judge to identify the kind of pain you feel in your body.
To come out of the posture tuck the chin to the chest, place your hands on your lower back, thumbs touching at the sacrum.
Breath in send the hips forward, engage the core come up to an upright position.
Open up to the outside world with loving kindness, and there will be nothing to fear, trust yourself, have faith in what the universe has in for you and you will gain strength to overcome any situation.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the practice