Yoga is a powerful balancer of energies. As we discussed in the last blog back-bends focus on sun energy, and create vitality and openness in the body. Forward bends naturally do the opposite: they focus on the moon energy, and are very calming and soothing.
With this being said forward bends are often very challenging. I find it easy to open up in a back-bend that others find difficult, yet when I fold forward I often feel ‘stuck’ and restricted. This can be very frustrating!
When working through any of the six movements of the spine in yoga, it is important to be gentle, let the body guide as you focus on creating length through the spine and breathing to help deepen the posture.
When I let go of my expectation of attaining a full forward bend, and instead began to focus on my breathing and feeling what was happening in my body, magic happened! I became so absorbed in the moment, that I became aware of an almost wave-like energy that moved through my body with my breathing. My muscles started to loosen, and I was naturally able to release deeper into the posture. Although I have only ever come into a ‘full’ forward bend a few times in my life, the benefits never cease to amaze me. When I lift up from those postures I am always flushed with a sensation of peace, calmness, and serenity. That is the magic of moon energy in yoga!
Yoga Journal’s website has some great guidance on forward bends, be sure to check out this amazing resource! Also remember to check with your doctor before beginning any new fitness routine.