Bending Over Backward: The Why and How of Practicing and Teaching Backbends EB


While backbending is a part of asana practice, it is still an unfamiliar movement for the vast majority of our students. It is also a necessary one for a flexible and strong back.

In this course Judith Hanson Lasater will start with a review of the structure of the vertebral column and the primary muscles that create and sustain backbends.

We will then move to a discussion of the more subtle aspects of what backbends do for us: the emotional and psychological aspects of practicing backbends.

We will also discuss the practical aspects of practicing and teaching: how to sequence backbends for beginners and for more advanced students, the common mistakes and pitfalls to be avoided for a successful backbend practice, how to avoid over-stimulating the adrenals in backbends, how to make sure your sacroiliac remains happy during the practice, and why backbends are so beneficial for a pranayama practice.

This Course Also Includes:

  • Opening the Heart – Gentle Backbend Practice for All Levels. In this soothing, 30-minute practice, YogaUOnline teacher Claudine Beeson offers a balanced backbend practice focused on creating greater openness in the heart and front of the chest, while keeping your low back safe.
  • Recordings of Both Sessions: Yours to keep. It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get the recordings of both sessions (MP3 & MP4), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of Both 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 sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.


The practice of yoga is fundamentally an act of kindness toward oneself. This idea is often forgotten, but not by Judith, whose approach is warm, non-judgmental and responsive to individual differences and needs.

$127/ Lifetime Access

I wanted to expand on my thank you. Yoga U Online has been an absolute lifesaver for me. I moved from a yoga mecca to a yoga desert. Instead of having my choice of teachers and styles and special workshops, I now have to travel an hour to take a class. The excellent teachers and interesting topics at Yoga U Online have kept me moving ahead in my practice. I am grateful for all the wonderful yoga you bring to me. Thank you.
I appreciate the work you do very much. Keep it up! You really raise the bar for yoga education. I will savor all the material on my Dashboard.
Barbara P.
My students will appreciate all the gems I've picked up from your teachers.Thank you so much!
Beth O.