Feel the Wheel
Urdhva Mukha Vajrasana (Upward-Facing Thunderbolt)
The pose that I refer to as Up-ward-Facing Thunderbolt Pose is a bridge between Cobra and Camel Pose. It illuminates the habitual patterns that often interfere with an optimal experience in backbends.
In Child's Pose, replay Cobra in your mind, tapping into your kinesthetic memory. Next, hold on to your heels and separate your knees slightly wider than hip width (you can also bring your feet outside the hips). You might also want to pad your knees and ankles with a blanket.
As you did in Cobra, root your spine to your legs by moving the pubis away from the navel, and the tailbone away from the lumbar spine. Recalling the actions of Cobra, breathe in as you curl your head and chest off the floor until only your lower ribs remain on your thighs.
Pause here for a couple of breaths, rolling your front shoulders and collarbones up and back. Expand the chest with such radiance that it lifts the ribs off the thighs and lifts the sternum. Ride this circular motion up into Upward-Facing Thunderbolt Pose. Stay seated as you deepen the backbend. Continue to expand the chest and lift the side ribs and sternum while you press the lower shoulder blades into the ribs. Hold the pose for several steady breaths and then unroll back to Child's Pose, head last.!--page-->