The "Tug of War" Practice

A week ago we wrapped up an incredible Shiva Yoga 50hr Intensive at Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas! Here’s a few pics from our Backbending Workshop on the last day of the intensive.
It is so important to understand the relationship between the core muscles, and the spinal erectors and the other muscles that take the spine into extension when you are Backbending. One of my teachers used to say that in every backbend there is a little forward fold. When you engage your core while you are Backbending, your backbend actually gets bigger. You create more space. Your spine lengthens. You don’t put so much pressure on your lower back. And you get to stretch your hip flexors. It’s this relationship of opposites and finding the balance between them that can really take us deeper into the practice. Some teachers call these actions and counter actions. I call this the ‘tug of war’ principle. It is the dance that is happening between the agonist and the antagonist muscles all the time. Sometimes there is an equal fight, sometimes one side wins, but the other side doesn’t just drop the rope and give up. The antagonist is still fighting, just like the villain at the end of the movie, who rarely throws in the towel and goes quietly away.