Backbends: The Art of Opening Your Heart

by Daneen Farrell

Open your heart and say "Ahhhhh!"

Investigate how poses like bow, camel, full wheel and dancer seem so elusive, but feel so good.

Backbends are the counterpose to our daily lives. We spend hours a day diligently working at our jobs, traveling from point A to point B, and lovingly caring for others. Increasingly, we spend our time leaning over keyboards, smartphones, steering wheels and even our children. Add in the change to a cooler season, and our shoulders round even further to protect us from the cold. Combined, all of this hunching has the unintended consequence of turning us in toward ourselves and closing off the heart. This affects us not only physically, but emotionally as well.

On a physical level, rounding the back strains the muscles in the back of the neck and across the shoulders, increasing the likelihood of tension headaches and back pain. Also, as the shoulders round forward, this compresses the space around the heart and chest making it not only harder to take a deep, full breath, but it restricts blood-flow to our vital organs and glands increasing our risk of illness.

On an emotional level, this “rounding-in” creates a barrier around the heart. We can settle into patterns where we distrust ourselves and others, as well as lower self confidence, and experience a disconnection from others. Backbends open up the heart chakra, which increases our sense of well-being, confidence, and connection to the world around us.

Our backs are meant to flex not only forwards, but backwards as well. It's how our bodies are designed. In our upcoming The Art of Opening the Heart workshop, we will breathe through an intelligently designed Vinyasa flow focusing on the muscle groups that will allow the back to bend more easily into postures like Bow, Camel, and Bridge. We will introduce props to help us experience poses like Wheel, Dancer and Full/King Pigeon. All of this will be done in a friendly and safe way, with encouraged discussion and experimentation.

This is workshop is intended for the intermediate to advanced yogi looking to both expand their practice and deepen their connection to how and why these postures work in our bodies. Come curious, with a pencil and notebook, and a bottle of water. Enter with an open mind, and you'll leave with an open heart. Can't wait to see you! Questions? email: dmfarrall@yahoo.com

This special class includes an intelligently designed vinyasa flow to prime the body for backbends, and then we will come together to breakdown common heart-opening poses in a safe, fun and friendly way.

This special class includes an intelligently designed vinyasa flow to prime the body for backbends, and then we will come together to breakdown common heart-opening poses in a safe, fun and friendly way.



Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 1:30 pm-3:30 pm, $30.00 fee.

Bring your mat, a notebook, a water bottle and towel. Props will be provided. Questions? Email dmfarrall@yahoo.com.