How often have you shied away from a possible relationship because of your fear of getting hurt, emotionally involved, or becoming vulnerable? As a way to protect ourselves (in many ways, not just romantically) we close up, pull back, and contract our bodies. We assume a hunched over position in our everyday life – bent over our computer, rounded back and shoulder as we text, and slouched sitting. Backbends allow us to open up these closed areas – primarily our chest: our heart center. By expanding our chest, we take fuller breaths which open our lungs, strengthen our immune system, energize us, and help to alleviate depression. In backbends, there is a feeling of exploration as you open your chest and gaze backwards, enjoying a new perspective. This can also be a little frightening since you are not always able to see the ground. Trust yourself, trust the earth to support you, and take the challenge of a backbend as room to grow in your life and on your mat.
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