How to Expand and Improve Your Backbends

Back-bends are an incredible part of a yogi's journey to wellness. For most people, it's easier to move the body forward. However, leaning backward takes special attention and care. The extra effort is worth it, though, because back-bends allow the body to open up, making it relaxed and more receptive to every part of life. So, let's separate and then connect to open up everything in a good way.

Why Alignment Matters in Back-bends

Alignment is very important for those looking to master a pose in yoga. You need to learn to hold your body in the right form so the asanas can come together and flow easily. Without alignment, the body will lack balance, leading to unnecessary strain and struggle.

Moreover, alignment helps you understand which areas you're having trouble with so that you can work on those areas accordingly. You can improve your yoga practice with back-bends by focusing on your chest, shoulders, and back, allowing you to reap more benefits and enjoy each pose fully.

If you're struggling with one or more of them, we suggest breathing and stretching them. Using yoga props and accessories is also a great way to create more strength, space, and length as you find the right alignment in the back-bends and other poses.

The Importance of Breathing During Back-bends

Sometimes people feel dizzy during back-bends due to the upside-down nature of the posture. Breathing in uncomfortable positions through the mouth adds strain and stress, causing them to lose strength.

During yoga, especially when practicing back-bends, your breath needs to be fully engaged and relaxed to allow the body to open up properly. Try to inhale through your nose and exhale when stretching to feel a significant difference. Here are a few stretches to help you see the big impact on your back-bends.

1- Shoulders

Place your palms firmly on the wall and stand about a leg's length away from it. Gently stretch your neck and head downward and go as far as you can comfortably without straining the muscles. If you feel uncomfortable, place your hands further up on the wall and repeat.

Keep your back straight and legs aligned at shoulder width. Make sure you stretch your neck while breathing. Keep inhaling and exhale when you return to the starting position. Hold on to a towel, a bar, an exercise band, or something taut and straight.

Pull your arms back and up while exhaling without arching your back. Make sure your grip is firm and wider than your shoulders' width apart. Inhale and return to the starting position when you exhale. Don't allow your shoulders to twist, with one going backward and the other forward. Try keeping them relaxed and squared.

 Woman using yoga block wedges

2- Chest

When resuming the starting position, stretch the shoulder about a leg's length from the wall, palms firmly placed on the wall, and legs shoulder width apart. But this time, stretch the neck and head up and allow your chest to move forward. Make sure your arms stay straight as your back arches. You'll be surprised how this one small movement helps you feel the expansion of your chest area.

3- Back

Now kneel comfortably on the floor with your shoulder, neck, and head relaxed and your spine stretched tall. Move your hands behind, palms pressing against the back and fingers pointing up. Keep breathing as you gently arch your back, with each exhale going deeper.

Lean your body forward to maintain the balance as you deepen the stretch so that you don't fall backward. Feel the support of your arms and breathe as your arch expands to help your body open up.

Practicing these regularly will help you notice how your entire body and other aspects of life start to open up in unique ways.

Plenty of patience is required as you work on diverse foundational poses that help build the momentum towards more challenging asanas. Using yoga accessories and props is a great way to explore movements confidently and progressively building technique, mobility, and strength over time.  

Check out the range of yoga blocks, yoga parallettes, push-up stand parallettes, and other yoga accessories available at our online store to progress from basic poses to more challenging ones with ease while making yoga much more efficient.

It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned or newbie yogi, our wooden yoga wrist blocks are for everyone! Connect with us to buy yoga props to help you enjoy the discipline to the fullest while preventing strain, compression, or overuse injuries.