Bend Back, Feel the Buzz


By Richard Rosen  |  

Backbends are thought of as poses that open our awareness to the outside world. While the front of the body is being stretched in backbends, (specifically the thighs, front groins, belly, chest and armpits), our attention should continually be focused on the back torso. As you come into a backbend, lift the pubic bone toward the navel and rotate the thighs strongly inward. Keep the buttocks firm (but not tight or squeezed) and keep the tailbone pressed forward, which helps keep the lower back long and protect it from compression.

 

Backbend Sequence

Total time: 40 to 50 minutes

    1. Virasana (Hero Pose)
      Clasp your hands, stretch the arms straight out in front of you, with the palms facing away from you. Then inhale and stretch the arms up alongside the ears. Hold for one minute. Release, reverse the clasp of the hands (do the non-habitual clasp) and again raise your arms for one minute. Release on an exhalation. (Total time: two minutes)

 

  • Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose)
    (Total time: two to three minutes)

 

 

  • Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
    For one to two minutes on each side. (Total time: two to four minutes)

 

 

 

 

  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand)
    Perform this pose very close to the wall. Once you have kicked up, press the buttocks and the backs of the legs into the wall, and lift the chest away from the wall. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then press through the arms and reach through heels into the full pose for 30 seconds. (Total time: one minute)

 

 

  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
    (Total time: one minute) Then step your feet apart for:

 

 

  • Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
    Move into the pose, then walk the bottom hand a few inches behind you so that you have space to come into a backbend in the upper-back. Hold each side for one minute. (Total time: two minutes)

 

 

  • Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
    One minute on each side. (Total time: two minutes)

 

 

  • Purvottanasana (Side Stretch Pose)
    Repeat three times, holding for 30 seconds to one minute each time. (Total time: two to three minutes)

 

 

  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
    Repeat three times, holding for 30 seconds to one minute each time. (Total time: two to three minutes)

 

 

  • Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
    Repeat three times, holding for 30 seconds to one minute each time. (Total time: two to three minutes)

 

 

 

 

  • Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
    (Total time: one minute)

 

 

  • Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow)
    Repeat three to five times, holding for 15 to 30 seconds each time. (Total time: one to three minutes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
    (Total time: 30 seconds to one minute)

 

 

  • Marichyasana III (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi)
    Twist to each side three times, holding each twist for 30 seconds. (Total time: three minutes)

 

 

  • Savasana (Corpse Pose)
    (Total time: 10 minutes)