Computer work, web surfing, and even texting on mobile phones are all culprits in creating tightness in the chest, shoulders, and back. According to the Two Fit Moms, Laura Kasperzak and Masumi Goldman, a backbending practice is a great way to relieve everyday stress and loosen up a tight upper body.
The biggest misconception about backbends is that you need a flexible back in order to do poses such as Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) or Ustrasana (Camel Pose). Yes, you do need some mobility in your back, but the entire front body and shoulders can make or break a backbend. With consistent practice, you will find that your backbends will be deeper and easier to perform.
See also Jason Crandell'sOpen Shoulders, Bigger Backbends
As with any asana, take backbends slowly, and never force your body into postures. Start off your practice with a few rounds of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), then try these 7 poses to fire up your entire front body and shoulders. Make sure to keep your abdominals engaged and more importantly, make sure to breathe!
See alsoTwo Fit Moms' Good Morning Flow