Saturday Special – Balanced Backbends

backbends carol trevor


How can backbends feel integrated and easier? 

What kind of curve are we looking for, and what supports it? 

What do backbends have to do with the nervous system or meditation or daily life? 

Why are nutation and the hyoid bone significant?

A little like marmite - we can love or loathe (or fear) them - backbends can be challenging for all of us in some way. Yet, they have incredible benefits, feel uplifting and invigorating and are accessible to all.

Backbends are important as we move through life, especially as we spend much of our time unconsciously forward bending. They also ward off lethargy and low mood.

In this workshop, we'll begin briefly with some functional anatomy to understand the principles of safe and optimal backbending, whatever our age, physique and lifestyle, so that we can take care of ourselves. Where do we need to be open, stable or strong? Which parts of the body need to feel engaged or relaxed? How do we enter while elongating the spine, and exit safely? Is there an optimal way to breathe? How are our organs supported?

We'll enjoy a dynamic, mindful sequence with steady progression, plenty of options and the use of props to explore the harmony of this rich family of poses. We'll travel to and from exquisite, courageous urdhva dhanurasana (wheel) - or an alternative - as our peak pose, pausing to explore refined alignment and to try variations to i) take pressure off the lower back and ii) open the upper back and shoulders.

We'll practice with an awareness of the yogic context for these poses; their practical and esoteric purpose and characteristics.

Carol is available for an optional Q&A after the physical practice. You're welcome to submit questions in advance.

Limited live spaces available to allow for individual attention as far as online instruction permits.

If you can't attend live, you're welcome to participate via a recording, available for 10 days. The recording will be provided to all participants to offer the chance to revisit the practice.

Please note: this practice is not suitable for pregnancy, less than 3 months postpartum or serious back conditions. Alternatives for some poses may be given for menstruation and RSI. If you have any injuries or health conditions and would like to join us, please contact Carol in advance.  

Saturday, 10-11.45 am (UK). Via Zoom.

Class date:  27 June 2020. 

How to book:
You're welcome to book with the sliding scale for payment offered below.


(If you currently have limited means and would like to join, please email me.)

What to bring:
Yoga mat, belt, 2 yoga bricks, 1 block, bolster (or pillow/yoga mat wrapped in a blanket).

In the Q&A Carol will show how a yoga chair can be used to develop full and easeful backbends over time.

Joining instructions:
Once you've booked, you'll receive a private link to join the class via Zoom. Please download the Zoom app here in advance if you don't already have it.

Just click on your link up to 5 minutes before the start time to join the class.

Looking forward to seeing you. Honoured to share this practice at this time.