Yoga: Foundations to Deep Bending with Paul

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3 Classes

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Your Yoga teacher demonstrates a backbend and you think “ok, I got it this”. You’ve been practicing yoga long enough and it’s due time to feel the invigorating strength your yogi friends swear by.

But incorporating backbends into your practice leaves you feeling like a beginner with a touch of anxiety and a sore low back. What gives?

Our spines are designed to extend, or bend backward, but that doesn’t mean we can hop right in and take on some of the most challenging (and rewarding!) yoga poses. Think back on your day and where your spine has spent most of its time:

  • Flexion (bending forward) 
  • Neutral (upright and looking quite like a model skeleton)
  • Extension (bending backward)

Was there any extension? These days we don’t move, or do activities that naturally make our spines bend back. We’re out of practice. That’s why backbends in yoga class can easily interrupt your meditative mindset and leave you wondering “what’s the point of this?”. Our body needs some preparation and practice. And it’s worth it because when your spine moves smoothly into a backbend you’ll reap all the benefits including:

  • Increased lung capacity
  • A boost of energy
  • Tension and stress relief
  • Improved emotional health

In Backbends: Foundations to Deep Bending, you will feel your heart and chest open, and learn tools to reverse the pull of gravity on the spine. You will explore a systematic approach to warming up the shoulders, back and hips, and prepare the spine to bend evenly and painlessly. We will perform/attempt postures such as bridge, bow, locust, camel and wheel poses carefully and skillfully.

This series is accessible to students who have a basic yoga practice and have developed a basic understanding of yoga postures. Additional options will be provided for complicated/challenging postures. The series grows in intensity and difficulty. Begin with the first session and work your way slowly through the series. If session one is difficult, continue practicing this first session until proficient, then continue on to the next session when ready. 

Yoga: Foundations to Deep Bending with Paul

Foundations to Deep Bending

3 Classes

About the instructor

Paul Menard

Director, Karuna Center for Yoga and Healing Arts
Yoga Instructor & Shiatsu Practitioner E-RYT 500, YACEP, AOBTA-CP

Paul Menard began studying yoga in 2002 and has maintained a passionate practice ever since. His background in classical dance gives him profound appreciation for the intricacy of the form that yoga affords. His elegance and grace shines through his postures and the execution of his teaching. Paul’s pursuit of a more spiritual practice led him to Karuna, where he feels blessed to have found such an open and welcoming community. In addition to yoga, Paul has a fervor for education. He completed his master’s degree in Adult Education and Training in early 2011 to complement his career as a workplace learning and development professional. He has completed the 300-hour advanced yoga teacher certification program at Karuna and is seeking other professional credentials as an educator. Paul is excited to connect his love of education and passion for yoga at Karuna.

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