Back Breaking Habits Undone with Back Bends

Article by: Niki Saccareccia


It’s 2015. Our modern, high-tech lifestyle includes web surfing, binge watching entertainment and the convenience of driving wherever we please. While our internet-centric lives are more convenient, the profound nature of our posture remains as ancient as our cellular memory.

Picture yourself sitting on your couch, scrolling through your newsfeed. Visualize what your spine looks like in that position and you will recognize the apparent lack of back bend in it – shoulders rounded forward, chest center caved backwards, head carriage positioned well in front of the abdomen, breathing short and shallow.

“In context, having a regular yoga practice is the ultimate counterbalance to a movement lifestyle set in technological convenience”

Digging in to the mechanics and how-to’s of certain yoga postures can feed into your off-the-mat habits to provide a mindful dose of self-care. Back bend poses train our muscle memory to support the heavy weight of our skull (9-11lbs on average), relieving common tension zones in the upper back and shoulders. They train us to lengthen upright and decompress the rigidity of the upper spine, bringing flexibility into the chest and breathing muscles which allow us to stay well-oxygenated and clear in our thinking.

Having an Instagram-worthy back bend is always fun, especially for vacation pictures. Having the strength and know-how to rearrange your body into a shape that undoes the hours of mindlessness we all fall into from time to time, well that is something to breathe deeply about!

The dualities of forward folds are equally as important as backward bending. So when we have a well rounded practice that allows us to stretch, twist, expand, contract, fold forward and bend backwards, we facilitate a healthy and limber spine.

Interested in learning more on about back bends? Join Niki’s Back Bends for Every Body Workshop!


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About Niki Saccareccia:

A Los Angeles based teacher, author and therapist, Niki Saccareccia is driven to remind her students about their birthright to mental health and physical wellness. Well known for her clear instruction and a gifted ability to distill complex lessons into tangible insights, and nearly a decade of experience working with patients.

With her training in Behavior Therapy and Hatha Yoga, her classes are guided by a strong anatomic focus, using breath-driven movement as the gateway to self-knowledge and transformation. Learn more: www.LightInsideYoga.com