The last day of our journey was spent at Park Güell doing some more photo shoots by Xavi Moya with Natalia and her adorable and yogi daughter, Gala, which is a natural born yogi and model!
If you're ever looking for a place to take photos while you're in Barcelona, Park Güell is one of the best places. It may be crowded during some seasons, but you can always catch a second or two with no one around and there's an infinite number of locations to take unique photos at.
Xavi is such a pro at what he does, that he knew how to direct us, what angles were good and which were better and was open every idea we had, which makes him such an ideal photographer.
As for the warm up I did and usually do before photo shoots
I've seen through my yoga journey, by meeting other students and yogis and getting to know myself more, that my body is more flexible than most.
That said, I don't just wake up in the morning into bow pose for a few reasons:
First of all, I have gone through many things in life which taught me that I need to respect my body. A lot of the poses I do can cause great strain on the spine, the shoulders, hips and basically every part depending on the pose.
If I don't warm up and cool down after, a lot of pressure will be put on my body that will eventually result in injuries and of course this is not the end goal of yoga.
Second, I'm just not THAT flexible. When I'm done with my strength exercises, I work a lot on opening the hips, upper back, shoulders, front of the body so that the lower back has the least amount of strain on it. I do that between 20-50 minutes, depending on how much time I have, and only then do I go into deep backbending poses.
Before a photo shoot I usually do a 30 minutes warm up that consists of opening the shoulders and warming up the hip flexors which are the tightest parts in my body with poses like puppy pose, cow-face arms, low lunges and splits.
I try not to overdo it as well, again not to cause to much strain of the body without a proper cool down (since there's the travel to the location and the photo shoot itself), and I keep it shorter so that I don't sweat too much too!
Once I'm there I do some drop backs while supporting the lower back with my hands and find some wall to stretch on, which always helps.
I never go beyond my edge; if at any point I don't feel like this pose is for me today, I let it go, just as I do in my practice. Our bodies are too precious to hurt them over anything.
After the photos are all taken I like to do some twists and forward folds, usually from standing because it's easier than seated ones.
I hope my experience from this travel was able to help even a little bit if you're planning to travel as well!
I would love to answer any question you might have.
All photos were taken by the talented Xavi Moya www.XaviMoya.com
If you still want to backbend with me
You can get your copy of Love of Backbends HERE
Have a beautiful day,