Bowspring Yoga – Urban Sport of the Week
We took our Urban Sport of the Week series to Munich where we tried out Bowspring, a type of yoga that focuses on spinal alignment and posture with plenty of hopping around…
What is Bowspring?
Bowspring is a form of yoga that focuses on postural alignment to strengthen our connective tissue and improve our everyday movement. After practicing Bowspring for several months it’s easier to do ordinary tasks like housework or lifting heavy items. The idea is to practice movements that are natural to the alignment of our spines while expending the least amount of energy.
What can you expect?
Bowspring Munich was founded by Jennifer Metzger. Our class took place in a fashion studio that belongs to Constantia, one of Jennifer’s long-term clients and a big fan of USC.
Constantia’s studio is in a glossy complex right next to The English Garden in Munich. It took us a while to find it so make sure you leave plenty of time before your first class.
Constantia’s office is spacious and stylish, and it was fun setting up our mats and blocks surrounded by sleek racks of designer jeans and cutting blocks.
How was the workout?
Jennifer began the class with some breathing exercise after which we sat on two blocks and moved our chests back and forth. “Us women don’t give our chests any space to breathe,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer explained that Bowspring is all about strengthening our fascia (connective tissue) by moving our bodies in a way that is natural to our spinal alignment. This concept became clearer when she showed us a posture called ‘Twisted Cat.’ It’s not dissimilar to Downward Dog except you balance on the tips of your fingers and toes and then kind of curve over to one side in a way that feels natural to the movement of your spine.
I ended up in a position with my neck sticking out at one angle and my legs and arms at another – a position I’d never actively been in before – but it did feel surprisingly comfortable. “Don’t forget to open your teeth,” Jennifer said. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant but tried my best anyway.
After that we kept our hands on the ground and kind of bunny-hopped in the direction that our spine allowed so we could loosen up and strengthen our back fascia.
We then did a variation of Twisted Cat where we distributed our balance equally between our arms and legs and then kind of collapsed into a kneeling position. It looked like it would be impossible but surprisingly I found it quite easy. I could feel my balance improving and my fascia strengthening already.
Jennifer pointed out the importance of the connective tissue in our heads (which I assume is our brains) so we grabbed our heads with the tips of our fingers and massaged our brains. Then we hopped around on the spot for a while.
To close the class we sat on our blocks and allowed our bodies to twist left and right. It was surprising how much more flexibility I had this time around. We then did a final grab of our head fascia and did some breathing exercises to finish.
How did I feel after?
Directly after the class I felt very buoyant and happy – probably because Jennifer has such positive energy and because it’s fun to spend an hour hopping and jumping around.
The next day I felt sprightly and energised and found my movements were easy and lighter than usual.
Benefits of Bowspring
Bowspring is great if you have back or hip trouble. Jennifer said her hip problems were completely solved after practising Bowspring for just 8 weeks.
It’s fun, light-hearted exercise that puts you in a really good mood All the hopping, jumping and flexing boosts your immune system.
Don’t forget to bring…
Workout gear – Jennifer provides the blocks and the mats.
For all of her latest news and updates, check out BowspringMunchen.com