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jbt

Beginner Backbends

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Just some background info. I'm a beginner at yoga and have always been really tight (desk job of course). I want to increase my flexibility, especially in my back and chest and am trying to learn how to do backbends. I've been trying to start by standing up, bending backwards and pressing out against a wall, but I can't get my arms straight as my elbows flail out to the sides. Any tips? Thanks!

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Thanks! I'll give those a shot. I went to class yesterday and am noticing my thoracic is particularly stuck. When I do the cow or cobra pose, it feels like my lower back and neck do the bending, but my upper back is stiff like a rod. Those poses are supposed to help improve spinal extension, but I feel like when I do them, I'm so locked up, I'm not able to do the poses properly to begin to get some improvement there. 

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If you take classes, show your instructor what you're doing...they might be able to suggest exercises or modifications that can help you open up

Yoga is something you could (should) do for the rest of your life. Be patient, it takes time. I started a little over two years ago, practice nearly every day of the year and am still hoping, one day, to do the perfect downward dog.

Dont sorry about what you can't do, just celebrate what you can do. Thr flexibility you're wishing for may take months, or years. Just keep working, attend classes, watch videos, read (might I suggest Namaslay) and one day you'll surprise yourself.

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