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This fall, I’ll be heading out to the midwest to do a yoga workshop tour. I’ll be debuting one of my favorite workshops - Got Yo’ Back, which is all about helping people learn more about their bodies and gain tools to build strength to support the low and upper back. I felt this was really needed in the yoga world because typical vinyasa classes are often quite back body lengthening, and front body strengthening. Think about it - how many vinyasas do you do in a flow class? When you do a vinyasa, you’re lengthening the glutes and hamstrings with repeated downward dogs and forward folds, and you’re strengthening the chest and arms through repeated chaturangas and downward facing dogs. If flowy vinyasa is the only style of yoga or fitness you’re practicing, it’s possible you’ll develop muscle imbalances which may aggravate mild chronic back and postural issues.
I developed the Got Yo’ Back workshop to counteract these muscle imbalances. While doing postural assessments is more of an individual exercise we do at the workshop, one thing all of us can benefit from is incorporating some back body strengthening work into our practices. My book Namaslay offers a number of ideas, but if you’re unsure of where to start, start with some supermans. Today I’m sharing a superman demo video below from our 30 Day Core Strengthening Program. What I’d suggest doing is incorporating these into your vinyasa flows. So, for example, you’d start in tadasana. Inhale the arms up overhead for urdhva hastasana, and exhale to forward fold. Inhale to halfway lift, and exhale to step back into plank pose and lower down for your chaturanga. From here, come down onto your belly and rotate the arms up overhead and perform three to eight supermans by taking a deep inhalation to prepare, and exhale as you lift your head, arms and legs off the floor. When you’re finished with them, bring your hands under your shoulders, elbows back behind you, curl your toes and lift up for downward facing dog and continue to move through your vinyasa. Easy peasy, right?!
Doing this consistently will help to awaken the back body muscles including the glutes, hamstring complex, erector spinae, shoulders, and more. Give them a try and let me know how it goes for you, and I hope to see you on tour!