Yoga Asanas that consist of backward extensions activate the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve has a direct effect on your emotions and your energy. Today, the psychological concept of embodied cognition is based on the discipline and ancient theory of Hatha Yoga which states that if we transform the more physical aspects of life, for example the physical posture and the rhythm of the breathing, we will be able to change the most subtle parts of our existence, such as thought and perception. You can read more about the vagus nerve, psychology and yoga here.
That ability to change our thoughts and perceptions is critical to our well-being. Due to the physical shape of the back bends they work directly with the vagus nerve. These open and tone the belly, chest, sternum and throat (where the vagus nerve runs).
Common injuries and how to avoid them
Any asana has to be practiced with awareness, paying attention to the feeling of stability, opposing forces, and space in each pose. Always keep in mind that yoga postures are called asanas because asana means ‘stable seat’. If there is pain, it must be changed.
In Karmuka Yoga classes, workshops and retreat every pose is adapted so that each student can enjoy the energy rush offered by these postures. We modify and adapt the back extensions depending on the strength and flexibility that each student possesses, so as not to cause damage in the lumbar or cervical.
In back extensions the most common mistake is to load the lumbar, instead of using the strength of the legs, arms and lats to achieve the posture. Experiencing pain in the lower back and neck is dangerous and one of the most common mistakes when practicing these postures.
The secret to safely performing back extensions is to coordinate the internal actions of the feet with the pelvis and the hands with the rib cage.
At Karmuka Yoga, we know that there is always a way to modify or practice a Yoga posture so that you do not hurt yourself and you have the space to become aware of the internal actions that lead you to truly enjoy the benefits of these powerful postures.
Learn more and feel for yourself the power of back extensions at the Karmuka Yoga Master Class on December 9 in San Luis Potosí at the Presente Yoga center.