If you're thinking about skipping today, here are some things to consider about backbends:
1. At the ashram, a chiropractor lectured us on the importance of backbends for back health. He informed us the single most important asana was cobra. "Why?" you may ask. Just think about it! How many of you out there are habitual slouchers? Which way does your back bend when you slouch? How many of us ever bend our backs in the other direction? I would be willing to bet, never. That is why back bends are soooo important. We can correct some back issues just by bending our backs in the opposite direction (ex. hunchback, back pain, lumbago, and myalgia of the back).
2. Women can especially benefit from backbends such as cobra and bow. Why? Because while we are in this pose, the ovaries and uterus are being toned. Toning these organs can help relieve menstrual problems and combats some reproductive disorders. *If you are pregnant DO NOT attempt.
3. Other benefits include increased flexibility, toning of superficial muscles of back and abdominal region (combating constipation), and can even provide relief to those with asthma (promotes expansion of the chest).
This list only scratches the surface of the benefits of backbends. If I wanted to list them all, I would have to dedicate individual posts to each back bend. So what are you waiting for? Pull your mats out (and a strap because you may want it) and start caring for your back! Om Namah Sivaya!