May 2020: Posture Lab: Strengthen Your Back to Stand Taller with Julie Gudmestad
This practice is designed for the beginner and older beginner yoga student who is new to backbending. Julie lays the foundation of how to practice backbends and teaches everything you need to know to practice these energizing poses safely and effectively. Julie has expertly crafted this practice to first warm up the shoulders and core muscles, preparing your body for the deeper stretching that will take place later in the class.
This practice focuses on correcting common muscle imbalances to prevent or relieve back pain. Julie starts with a series of gentle stretches to open the chest and increase the flexibility of the spine and pelvis. We then move into a series of soothing, restorative poses to facilitate the release of tension in the muscles of the low back.
In this 60-minute class, Julie guides us through a heart-opening sequence that culminates in Ustrasasana, Camel Pose. We will work on opening the front of the shoulders, the hip flexors, and stretching the quads as part of preparing the body for full Camel Pose. This is also an excellent class for improving posture and counteracting the all too common forward slump.
The amount of time we spend sitting in chairs closes up our front body: our hips flex at a right angle; our arms stay low, which tightens our shoulders; our diaphragm is compressed; our chest dropped; and our mid-back flexed. It’s no wonder we face a challenge with backbends! In this video, Julie guides you through a practice to open up the front body and stretch out all those tight areas.