Helen is devoted to yoga, and she’s also devoted to free diving. While one is about breathing and the other about breath-hold they’re both ultimately about the union of breath, mind and body.
Helen is a great friend and teacher and I was privileged to take photos of her for marketing collateral.
Helen Garner Weaver – free diver and yoga teacher
Helen’s a “backbender”, preferring backbends to bending forward. And it makes sense given backbending is about stretching the chest and lungs and opening our hearts in a way of being that is joyful and fearless.
I guess plunging to depths of 60 metres or more requires great courage, self belief and perfectly functioning lungs and it’s no wonder Helen prefers back bends to forward bends.
Benefits of yoga back bends:
Among the physical benefits of doing yoga back bends are:
- back bends stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and helps to prepare the body for action,
- helps to counteract the damage of bad posture,
- relieves back pain, bronchial distress, scoliotic deformities, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder,
- realigns the spine,
- promotes proper kidney function, and
- helps with the digestive function, eliminating constipation and flatulence (probably a good reason for us men to practice back bending).
I do a little free diving myself and practice yoga twice a week when not travelling. During this session I was grateful to be behind the camera doing what I do best as there’s no way I’d ever have gotten anywhere near the extent of back bend that Helen does.
Free diving in South Africa – Pure Apnea’s website
More on back bending poses