Lots of backbending since the Sweeney workshop. Lots and lots. 🙂

So now I have tender muscles in my lower back.

Continuing with the pushing deeper into backbends? If the pain is just muscular, I assume everything’s okay… Anyone have anything to offer re: experiencing muscular pain and the first third of intermediate?


29 Responses

  1. For me, that was the case for a while and I was fine. I think I didn’t worry because it was a kind of dull pain instead of a sharp one, which is the one that makes me worry.

  2. Agreed. I keep asking the backbend to move into the front body, and sometimes, say in standing and half-bending, I’ll guide the tailbone under, and the ribs up and away, to encourage every part of the thing to work together.

  3. I have experienced soreness with backbending, never ominous or threatening, but soreness.

  4. One thing that feels sort of nice for me when working on backbending is to experiment with up dogs…so try one with legs closer together than normal, for some reason that feels good and opens something different up…like more to the sides of the lower back if that makes sense…you’ll feel it when you do it…also experiment with keeping arms a little bit bent sometimes to give more flixibility to reach chest up towards the ceiling…then straighten them…just things I play with that seem to get me to be more open in backbends…

  5. I think the red girl might be able to offer some observations on lower back soreness.

  6. I think the most valuable thing I learned with back bending (especially in 2nd) is that I needed to open my chest, hip flexers, and strengthen my thighs. Maybe those aren’t your issues, but the more I opened, the more I held that mula bandha, the less I felt it in my back. I think what Patrick wrote is so true- it’s moving into the front of the body! duh! I wish they’d call them front openers instead of back bends. Too bad I didn’t know all of this when a visiting teacher cranked me into Kapo- now that created a back pain like I’ve never had before. Now that I do it with my hips and chest and protect the back, it’s a totally different posture. Sorry for the long comment. Good luck and don’t hurt yourself! Maybe get one of those red unitards!

  7. Yeah, it goes away… I used to feel like an old woman in the evenings after practice… stand up and hobble around holding my lower back for the first few steps, but it was never a scary sort of feeling and that phase is mostly over, it seems. The feeling was never in the spine but in the QL ( I think).

    Awesome pic.

  8. LOL! Yes, I will have to get a red unitard to solve my backbending woes. Actually, it seems to be resolving pretty quickly — and yes, it is all about the front body and needing to open the chest and hip flexors.

  9. What Liz said. Also, if it’s in the QL not the spine, like what Susananda said: important to research that.

    I very much hesitate to just say don’t worry about it because it will go away. I’d say learn to tease apart what is and is not sore. Sensation is like dye poured into the body for an x-ray. Illuminates little boundaries within.

    Don’t just be satisfied to say it’ll go away.

    Sometimes in the yogasphere we are reminded that lumbar compression is extremely common in deep backbending. Remember? 🙂 I tend to suspect that is not at all a good thing in the long run.

    What’s coming up for me here are Susananda’s amazing reports on Venkatesh. How they highlight the options for preventing spinal compression (even if he never exactly said that was the objective), and the way such an acutely physical mindfulness makes back feel so good in the long run. Another level of spinal and muscular wellbeing afterwards, even if the bends are (at first) less deep.

    (p.s. Boston backbending– CP’s teacher is supergood and knows exactly what to do. She has two techniques in advanced bending I’ve never experienced and found excellent. Long story. But in sum: plug for BBY.)

  10. Definitely QL, the pain that incited me to ask the question. And resolving quite neatly. I need to read more about QL and practice — don’t know much about the interactions at all.

  11. I think Ash has some discussion of this in the Voices archives. V. good.

    If you got the trigger point therapy stuff, Travell also has some deep insights about the QL.

    I’ve observed that people have some really interesting personal experiences with the QL. It’s an “old” muscle evolutionarily, like the psoas. And emotions sometimes play there in incredibly interesting ways. So very rewarding to learn to observe this.

  12. All you other readers who have no idea what a “QL” is: I looked it up for us — it’s the Quadratus Lumborum.

  13. I prefer to think of it as the spot where Candice the Massage Therapist makes me cry. In fact, I think I will use a Sharpie to circle it on my red unitard.

  14. Hah, I will have my two cents on BBY backbending after next week. Boston here I come…

  15. I just had the funniest picture in my head- all students can now wear full body unitards with marks (made with a Sharpie! of course!) where they hurt… I would have to darken in my whole left arm and shoulder. Colors of unitards would depend on where you were in your practice (like the belts they give you when you advance in martial arts). I’m totally liking this idea.

  16. Hey… OK, Owl is quite right – to say ‘yeah it goes away’ is a bit flippant. In my case it did go away, but that involved precisely the kind of ‘teasing apart’ and illumination of the problem that she describes. I guess I take that kind of constant enquiry into the body sensation as a given. I also still get this sometimes, it is more of a stiffness though and not pain. I think it is normal to have from time to time, then you just treat it gingerly. But on the whole, the back feels just AMAZING from backbending.

    As for Venkatesh, what he stressed were things we already know about: strong legs, strong lower abdomen, focus on the breathing. And also LONG SAVASANA.

    When I first started yoga we wore leotards. Mine was burgundy 🙂

  17. Nice.

    Is it time to set a trend, everyone? Test the market influence of ashtanga?

    I bet we can get our first new pairs from dancewear shops, but once we start posting our bad asses to flickr in those duds it will NOT be long until Prana and Hardtail spot the trend. I hope the photographers at YJ have all kinds of trouble making the lyotard seem distinctive and fashion-forward. This is one article of yoga wear you can’t low-ride or use to produce the illusion of cleavage.

    Burgundy sounds awesome.

  18. I have to point out the obvious, because YJ will get there if we don’t: there is potential for chest and butt cleavage using strategically placed cut-outs.

  19. Oh my GOD!!!

    But the cutouts would also coincide with the very areas you and Liz need to mark with the Sharpie. Hmmm….

    I wonder if they’ll be able to make OM-shaped cut-outs?

  20. This seems to be the return of Karen’s thread about all of the guys posting backbend pics in “manties,” eh?

  21. I’m not going to wear a unitard. I’m not going to wear a leotard, or any sort of -tard, unless it is a basketballshortstard.

  22. As long as it has cut-outs, a basketballshortstard is fine. Don’t forget to Sharpie circle the sore spots.

  23. And Patrick, you go ahead with the manties.

  24. manties? I can’t stop laughing.
    There was a guy in a class long ago (thank god) who wore a kind of one-piece wrestlers outfit. terrible. Little straps, low cut in the front. terrible terrible. There was a woman who recently wore a nude colored unitard with nothing under it… which became transparent when she sweat. She was told to not wear it again. I like the cut out OM symbol. Very spiritual indeed.

  25. Not to change the subject, but seems everyone is visiting Boston these days. Lucky CP.

  26. Okay, now I have this image in my head of a guy’s yoga outfit that is a one-piece deal with long satin basketball shorts and wrestler front with straps. I need to make a Photoshop example. Maybe on the weekend. Or Carl can autoCAD it for us.

  27. Photoshop would work better. AutoCaded would look too engineered. Would the straps hide anything, or just be a way to support the bottom part? This begins to sound like a Cirq du Soleil number.
    Cheers, A

  28. The straps would be for style. And apparently the wrestler outfit is actually called a “singlet.” So, a singlet top and basketball shorts bottom. Made into a unitard.

    You’ll be seeing it in YJ in no time. 🙂

  29. okay…this was the funniest comment thread ever!

    Yes, I’ve been blessed with visits from many virtual yogis. They’re always taller than I imagine them to be. I guess the internet takes away a few inches!

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