It was a gorgeous class yesterday afternoon with new staff instructor, Addison. She’s bringing a new style to OM which I knew little about before the practice. This branch of Hatha is called Shambhava and it was tough!! And beautiful and REAL. The climate was fresh and the wind was whipping. The Caribbean has FINALLY recieved some MUCH needed rainfall, but of course, it came in tropical torrential downpour style. Enough to scare most afternoon yogis away…but not I!
After teaching a nice flow earlier in the morning that was heavy on core and back work I shuffled to the mat in the p.m. as a student despite the pouring rain. It was in the hopes that I could work out this hamstring and sacral stabbing I’ve had going on for two days that I saddled up for my second practice of the day. Our peak posture of the practice, one of my all time LEAST favorites, proved to be exactly what I needed and I’m happy to report the lower back & hamstring pain has significantly dwindled. So here’s a little about my yogic arch-nemesis backbend: Salabhasana or Locust.
BACKBENDS: Mark Stephens hit the nail on the head when he said that passion for backbends in an asana practice “tends to go toward either unbridled effort or fearful withdrawal”. I normally find myself in the latter category of passion for backbending. Nonetheless these asanas are bountifully beneficial in:
- Opening the entire front of the body & HEART
- Strengthening the entire length of the back
- Stengthening buttocks
- Overall improvement of posture
- Opening & emphasis of Solar Plexus & Heart Chakra
- Relieving stress
- Stimulation for digestion & visceral massage for our organs
- Unlocking & opening us to our inner spirit
- Aiding immunity
- Strengthening nervous system
- Strengthening our ability to “face life” and offer ourselves to the world with love
- The specific variation of Locust we practiced also stimulates bloodflow and renews circulation to the elbows, forearms, wrists, hands and fingers.
So my message to all yogis, Vale la pena! It’s worth it! Suck it up, dive back, bend deep, breathe in, face the world & BACKBEND! Your heart and soul will thank you later. I moved into my deepest expression of the posture I’ve ever visited today, thanks to Addison for making me face this evil pose…and hesitantly, maybe even starting to like it…even if just a little bit.