Laruga Glaser is such an inspiration for many students and so there was great excitement when we decided to do this themed interview centered around backbending. I talk to Laruga about her own backbending journey and I think you will be surprised to hear that although we may assume they come so easy for her, they are not always her favorite postures.
Most modern adults tend to have very stiff middle backs (usually from about the tenth thoracic vertebra (T10) to the fourth lumbar vertebra (L4). This region (T10-L4) is stuck in a slight forward bend (spinal flexion) in many modern adults. These people usually do most of their bending backwards (spinal extension) from the very lowest part of the mobile spine at junction between the fifth lumbar vertebra and the first sacral vertebra (L5-S1). L5-S1 is usually located about 2 centimetres below the top of your hips (iliac crests).
In a yoga practice much emphasis is placed on opening the heart. Opening the heart has physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual benefits.Rounded shoulders and a hunched spine are typically associated as the posture of someone who is less confident, timid, fearful or possibly depressed. We round our shoulders and stoop forward to protect our heart as we carry our emotional, psychological and/or spiritual wounds.