Full camel pose – poorna Ustrasana, image by Cormac McCreesh Photography Full camel pose – poorna Ustrasana

Yoga back bend poses for free diving

Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Featured, Sports and lifestyle
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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.

Yoga back bend pose

King Pigeon – eka pada rajakapotasana

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.

Deep yoga back bend for free diving

One legged upward bow

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).
Cormac McCreesh Photography

Full camel pose – poorna Ustrasana

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.

Cormac McCreesh Photography

One legged wheel pose – eka pada urdhva dhanurasana


Helen can be contacted at Liquid Yoga or on her Facebook page.

Free diving in South Africa – Pure Apnea’s website

More on back bending poses






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