Avoiding Yoga Injuries: Common Alignment Mistakes in Backbends and Lateral Bends


Have you seen those beautiful, deep back bending postures in yoga publications, on Instagram and so on? They might seem like a “gold standard” when it comes to back bends; but in reality the effectiveness of your backbend has NOTHING to do with how far you can curve your spine. In fact, the deeper you go, the riskier it gets.

Learn how to establish a solid foundation from which to safely explore backbends and feel more secure and confident when practicing or teaching backbends.

In this online course, writer and yoga therapist Olga Kabel shows you how to identify the alignment mistakes that can compromise yours or your students’ safety and diminish the effectiveness of backbends and lateral bends.

She will show you how to monitor the position of the pelvis, what to do with the core, where to put the arms and even where to look to protect the body and get the most out of yoga poses. She will also illustrate the most common alignment mistakes in back bending and side bending poses and what you can do to correct them.

What You Will Learn – Part 1

  • How to protect your lower back while bending backward
  • How to avoid creating a pivot point at L4-L5 junction
  • The “secret ingredient” of any effective back bend
  • Two main types of backbends and how to position the body to get the most out of each
  • How to identify the misalignments that might strain the student’s neck, shoulders and sacrum while attempting back bends, and how to troubleshoot them


What You Will Learn – Part 2

  1. Three main things you can accomplish with your lateral bends and how to position your body to get those benefits
  2. How changing feet position in standing side bends changes the effect and risks of the pose
  3. How to move in and out of Utthita Trikonasana to avoid hip and sacrum issues
  4. How to protect your sacroiliac joint while bending sideways
  5. How to identify common misalignments inside bends that might lead to neck tension, back pain and sacrum strain, and how to avoid them.

This Course Also Includes:

  • Yoga Practice Video: Practice along with Olga in a 40-minute exploratory yoga practice that will show you how to introduce proper back bending and side bending technique to build a solid foundation for future exploration.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions – both MP3 (downloadable) and MP4 (streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of All Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.
This course qualifies for 2.5 CEs with Yoga Alliance.


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Educated as a school teacher, Olga Kabel, C-IAYT, has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and practicing yoga therapy for the past 12 years. Olga is a founder of Sequence Wiz—a membership-based electronic health records system (EHR) for yoga teachers and yoga therapists.

$127/ Lifetime Access

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