Monday, July 11, 2005

Spontaneous Backbends

I wrote a message on April 19th called Kyphosis and Bending Backwards. I opened that Daily Yoga Tip by saying that no one bends backwards in ordinary daily life. Then I said, "never say never."

You can read that message to find out why, but for today, I want to acknowledge another spontaneous backbending siting.

Once again I made my siting at church. Two rows ahead of me a dad was holding his baby daughter. Over and over again she stiffened her legs, lengthend her spine, and with drama and flair, flung herself backwards.

Like a professional yoga teacher spotting his student in drop-overs from mountain pose (tadasana) to upward facing bow (urdhva dhanurasana), dad supported her right under the shoulder blades with his hands. She would hold the backbend for several breaths and then come up.

tadasana, mountain pose Posted by Picasa

upward facing bow pose, urdhva dhanurasana Posted by Picasa

I enjoyed most the mixed expression she had on her face when she popped up. Clearly, she was thrilled. He face beamed. She smiled from ear to ear. And she did it over and over. She loved it.

What was just as clear on her face was an expression of doubt and confusion. Those backbends were intense. She had definintely stimulated her nervous system. Her face was flushed. And for a moment, in the face of that intensity, she was considering not going again. But she did.

I felt like I was watching a kid just get off a ride at the amusement park. Electifying. But she needed a little pause before she rode again.

Backbending keeps you young. Young people spontaneously backbend. If you're not bending backwards regularly, find a skilled teacher who can guide you through the intensity. You'll be glad you did.

I've heard more than one "health expert" say that you're only as young as the mobility of your spine, regardless of your birth date.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., Nausea. Dizziness. Headaches. Tearful emotional expressions. Energy bursts. Tremendous body heat. "Runners high." These are all things I've exprienced--and I've seen in my students--while backbending! Some people experience these things and never bend backwards again. Not me. There's so much value to be gained by keeping your spine supple. Work with a teacher. Get help from an experienced guide. You'll be able to make sense of all of these experiences and press on safely. The fruits of this practice are many: strong back musculature, toned abdominals, and nervous system strength. Don't miss out on these.

p.p.s., Here's a pic of me doing one of my favorite backbends on the beach in Yelapa, Mexico. You will not want to miss our Experience Paradise yoga vacation coming up in February, 2006. Get the details at

One of my favorite backbends, on the beach in Yelapa. Posted by Picasa

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.


Anonymous Jefe said...

That's a great picture!! Who took that????

3:51 PM  

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