Why working on your backbends can help your running

Runners and cyclists spend all their time in the sagital plane. That is moving forward and back and not side to side. We spend our time flexing our hip flexors to do the desired activity: run or bike. These types of activities can lead to incredibly TIGHT hip flexors. Tight hip flexors can inhibit your performance on the bike or on a run and over time, tightness in the hips can lead to injury. {I hear Coach Al in my head! Had an ongoing issue with tendonitis of my right knee last fall} So, even doing 5 poses a day can benefit your sport- and I mean any sport whether you are an active mom or a gym rat or an endurance athlete- yoga can do wonders for the body!
What are some of the general benefits of backbends?
1. Strengthens the legs, back, arms and shoulders
2. Stretches the front of the body: chest, belly and hip flexors
3. Opens the abdomen, chest, upper back, shoulders, arms and hip flexors
So, how do I do a backbend?!
I’m here to demonstrate some of the ways you can work on your backbend. And, I am referring to Upward Facing Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana). There are lots of poses that are backbends- but this it the big one. And guess what? I am still working on it!

Position A: Work towards the hand position by standing close to the wall and working your triceps in towards your ears and place your hands on the wall. This is harder than it looks!

Position B: Bridge pose with a block between the thighs. I need to retrain my inner thighs to do work. You can also see that my feet are turning out and they should be parallel.

Position C: Feet on block with feet parallel, crown of the head on the floor, elbows hugging in, palms pushing into the floor.

Position D: Feet parallel, elbows hugging in, hands on blocks, crown of the head on the floor.

Positon E: Blocks are tipped up against the wall, start with the crown of the head on the floor, then push up. Feet should be parallel.
This final pose for me felt the best! Also, it took us (kids were photographers) at least fifteen times to get the pictures right, so the more I worked on it, the higher my head was coming off the ground! Backbends are serious work. Baby cobra or low cobra is also a backbend, so pay careful attention when moving through that pose in a yoga class.
A Big Thank You!

Thank you to Lucy Sportswear for providing me with this outfit for purposes of review. I love the outfit and will plan on wearing it to my teaching jobs in the future!
Also wanted to let you know that if you are near a Lucy store this week (starting August 12th) they are giving away hot pink sweatbands FREE to all customers. Click here to download coupon {will be ready on Aug.12}.
P.S. If you are new to yoga, I strongly urge you to find a good teacher to guide you through your yoga practice. These pictures are for demonstration purposes only and should not be done unless you can be responsible for your own body.
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