Instagram is a pretty great way to get inspiration and ideas when it comes to training! But it can also be scary as many people are attempting physical things that their body isn’t ready for or understands.
For instance, I see many people posting photos of backbends where the main point of balance should be the chin/upper chest area. That’s all great if you can execute it correctly. But most people I see trying these positions are balancing on their mouth! Usually they look like they are kissing or eating the floor or block!
This is usually because the person doesn’t know how to extend their neck and bend certain areas of their back to create the desired shape. Most of the time they end up rolling on their face just for the satisfaction of making it appear that they are doing a deep backbend. In reality all they are doing is faceplanting and putting an extreme amount of pressure incorrectly on their neck.
Practicing positions like cheststand or thinking pose variations (above photo) requires a large amount of extension through the neck, upper chest, ribs and hips. These positions also require a lot of EXTENDED FLEXION behind the neck, upper, mid and lower back.
When balancing on the mouth/teeth/lips in these positions, the muscles around the neck will try to protect you from the bad position by over-engaging themselves. This over-engagement causes too much incorrect flexion around the joints of the neck, which can cause sensitivity, nerve pinching, numbness in upper limbs and loss of breath.
In some cases repeating the incorrect positioning for long period of time can cause damage to the disks in the neck and could leave one with bulging, herniated or degenerative disks! It could also cause muscular ruptures and tears that can lead to blood clots that bring on aneurysms and strokes.
No amount of balancing on the face, kissing the mat, eating the yoga block while practicing cheststands is worth that kind of life long suffering. Learn to keep the neck extension strong and using the entire backbend to curl around the head. Balancing on the mouth/teeth/lips will NOT help make your backbend better.
Rethink your position! Rethink your training!
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