Never change a winning horse. If I had listened to that phrase, I would have never started to practise Bowspring Yoga. Because it is like jumping into cold water. Bowspring is innovative and not yet established in the Yogic world. I had to re-think movement and body right from the start again. Was ist worth it? Definitley!
Read my article to find out why. 🙂
1. Bowspring Yoga activates your whole body, not just bits and parts
Weight lifting trains your muscles, yoga increases flexibility and dancing helps with coordination. The only problem is that it’s time-consuming to do all of those things (in one lifetime). Here comes Bowspring into play. Bowspring is a holistic movement blueprint that is based on the latest scientific research regarding sports and therapeutics. In a Bowspring class it´s not just muscles but the whole body that gets activated. A special role has the fascia.
Fascia – Superstar
There is some discussion in the scientific world about how to define the fascia. One can say, that the fascia is a proper organ, that runs throughout the whole body and connects, broadly spoken, everything.
Only a few years ago, the fascia was considered a useless thing and ended up in trash bins during dissection. Imagine that! They just found out recently, that fascia is paramount for movement, stability and the ability to jump around. Additionally it`s interwoven with nerve cells. These cells can transmit pain and give feedback, where the body parts are located in space. The fascia runs in interconnected lines through the entire body, keeping the skeleton upright and helping to distribute loads between muscles and fascia. This works mainly because of tensegrity mechanisms.
If you would take the fascia away, the body would just collapse like an empty bag. If you don’t mobilise your body, you get stiff because the fascia tends to get sticky. The consequences are a bad posture and pain, especially in the back.
Bowspring uses the characteristics of the fascia (like the interconnectedness and the capacity to store energy) to reach forgotten areas of the body. Stretching for example takes on a whole new dimension. It isn’t just one muscles that gets longer, no: with Bowspring you activate long chains of muscle-fascia-tendon-ligament-bone-combo. And this isn’t just theoretical, you can feel it in a Bowspring Yoga class.
Because of the bouncing in poses, the fascia improves the storage capacity through elastic movements. You get more flexible, discharge joints and muscles and the body becomes elastic and strong at the same time.
Last but not least: Bowspring affords you to be very attentive. Much like dancing, you do something different with each body part. This creates neuronal pathways in the brain, that give you a new awareness of the body.
To shorten that: Why go to the gym, to Functional Training, Yoga and Dance Studio? Just do Bowspring! You’ll be strong, bouncy, more flexible and zen – all in one!
If you squeeze your flesh with a fascia roll, you`you’ll become indestructible.
2) Bowspring prevents you from being Quasimodo
When I look around in the subway, I am shocked. People get increasingly crooked. Working with a rounded back and sticking to smartphones are one of the reasons, why this phenomena can be seen all over the world.
I am not an exception. If I don’t take care (e.g. working for hours with my macbook on my lap) I start getting quite severe back pain. Why is this happening?
Due to our sedentary lifestyle, the Double-S curve of the spine slowly changes into a C-Curve. The loss of this natural curvature causes tensions, backpain or even problems with the intervertebral discs. There are studies claiming, that sitting even increases the risk of early death.
Bowspring Yoga brings the double S-curve back to the center of attention. And in this particular manner, it is quite different from other sports or modern yoga. In 90% of yoga classes they ask you to “tuck the tailbone in”, thus incline the pelvis backwards. In Bowspring we do it the other way around. The belly is long and the pelvis tilts forward. This emphasises, even restores, the natural lordosis in the lower back.
At the same time, the upper back is filled with breath and lifted upwards. This creates space in the lumbar spine. The psoas muscles can stretch and strong gluts help to stabilise the entire body. All of these mechanisms eventually yields a new attitude towards your posture. The natural S-curve of the spine reappears. The body gradually learns to get used to a natural posture again. Lolling becomes more and more uncomfortable and sitting up becomes more and more natural. Bowspring leads you back to your optimal state. The body can finally work effectively again, it does not have to compensate, like it does with e.g. a text neck.
If you bring your body back into a healthy posture, there is no compensation needed anymore. You can move more freely and live a healthy life without pain!
But it is not only on a physical level that Bowspring rules.
3 ) Bowspring Yoga opens doors for a mindful life
“Today I’m here, tomorrow there,
I barely arrived but already have to leave again.
(sorry for the poor translation, it is a poetic German song 🙊) “
This song by Hannes Wader fits well into our world. Sitting still and doing nothing is considered luxury and feels impossible for most of us. The reason isn’t just a lack of time but more over a the missing capacity to be still with ones-self.
Just telling people to sit down and concentrate isn’t helpful.
In my opinion it requires certain preliminary exercises that prepare for a seated, silent meditation.
Bowspring does that. Firstly because you release energy by moving through the sequences (katas). Secondly because you open your body for a seated position. But thirdly, and maybe most importantly, you have to concentrate a lot during a Bowspring class. No way, that you can think about your shopping list. If you do so, you will probably fall over. In a Bowspring class you push and pull (dig and drag) certain body parts, and by doing so activate the fascia, which helps you to keep the balance in quite shaky positions. But this affords lots of concentration. And it is exactly this concentration that let´s you forget your worries and drags you into your body. This opens a door into here & now.
Mindful awareness of the present moment is the prerequisite for meditation. It might still be difficult in the beginning, but after some time you will definitely feel the positive effects on a physical, mental and emotional level.
4 ) Bowspring Yoga can transform your life (if you want to change)
Bowspring is referred to as a Movement Medicine by Desi Springer and John Friend. I don´don’t like this expression but can relate to it because, as described above, Bowspring has positive effects on the body and the mind. But not just body and mind transform. My whole life has turned upside down. All of a sudden, I tackled things that were hard for me to change before. It may be because you can experience the body in a new way, which helps to see live in general from a different point of few. Bowspring also strengthens the back. Energetically, the back of the body is linked to topics like trust and mistrust. By strengthening your back you can shift energetically as well. You know you can trust yourself. That’s a big deal when it comes to change. Because transformation means to step into the unknown. That is WAY easier, when you trust yourself (and the “universe” 🦄)
Speaking of self confidence:
5) You can be a unflexible stick and still enjoy a Bowspring class
Additionally Bowspring is very accessible. You quickly notice success because most exercises are simple. It’s not so much about deep stretching but more about mindful movements. It is still challenging but in a whole different way. Everybody can do it. That is empowering and gives a lot of self confidence. It is additionally mostly fun to do a Bowspring class. The bouncing gives a certain kind of lightness and reminds of animals or kids. It might not always be as introvert as a Yin Yoga Class with all the forward bending; it rather is energising and enforces happiness. From that lighthearted position you can start change with a positive attitude and lots of power! 💪
Got curious? Check out where your next Bowspring Yoga Teacher lives and try it. I would be more than thrilled to hear about your experiences!
I am especially happy about comments below and any feedback or suggestions from your side.