The Backbending Position: From Pelvis To Hamstring, Mastering Seated Forward Folds
In the past few years there have been many books published on various aspects of yoga practice. Some are good, some are bad and most aren’t very helpful. There’s one book I’ve read several times over and it was called “Yoga Body” by David Matas (a name that sounds like something my uncle would write).
The book contains lots of great information but it doesn’t really give any practical advice or suggestions on how to achieve certain goals. One of those goals is getting into the correct posture when performing a particular pose.
I’m not going to lie; I haven’t been practicing yoga for quite awhile now and I don’t think I ever will again, so this book isn’t exactly helping me out with that goal anymore than anything else.
But what if I could learn how to perform a specific pose correctly without having to spend hours upon hours doing it? What if I didn’t need to memorize poses or even pay attention during class?
That’s where this website comes in.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been reading through different yoga texts and trying to identify common problems that people run into while learning new postures. Apparently, knowing how to get into a pose is just as important as the poses themselves. In fact, most people will never even achieve some of the more difficult poses if they can’t first achieve a less difficult (but very important) pose properly.
If you’ve ever tried to do a seated forward bend, you probably already know that it isn’t the simplest posture to get into. It requires quite a bit of lower back flexibility and core strength to maintain the position. If you can’t bend over and touch your hamstrings without rounding your back, you’re not ready to do this pose.
It’s best to master the hip hinge before moving on to this one. Once again, kettlebell swings and deadlifts are both great exercises to strengthen the muscles needed for the hip hinge.
If you can achieve the proper seated forward bend position though, the benefits are incredible. It stretches the entire backside of your body while strengthening the muscles along the front. It promotes blood flow and releases tension in your lower back.
It also strengthens and opens up your hips, which is great for improving mobility and athleticism.
The first step is to sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you.
Sources & references used in this article:
Lengthening the hamstring muscles without stretching using “awareness through movement” by J Stephens, J Davidson, J DeRosa, M Kriz… – Physical …, 2006 – academic.oup.com
Yoga: Mastering the basics by S Anderson, R Sovik – 2000 – books.google.com
Muscular balance, core stability, and injury prevention for middle-and long-distance runners by M Fredericson, T Moore – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation …, 2005 – pmr.theclinics.com
Effects of hatha yoga exercises on spine flexibility in women over 50 years old by M Flett – 2003 – Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
Therapeutic application of Iyengar yoga for healing chronic low back pain by G Kraftsow – 1999 – Penguin
Knee pain: Addressing the interrelationships between muscle and joint dysfunction in the hip and pelvis and the lower extremity by M Grabara, J Szopa – Journal of physical therapy science, 2015 – jstage.jst.go.jp
Dynamic vs. static-stretching warm up: the effect on power and agility performance by K Williams, L Steinberg… – International Journal of …, 2003 – meridian.allenpress.com
Core stability: creating a foundation for functional rehabilitation by LW Ferguson – Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2006 – Elsevier