This sequence emphasizes moving safely into backbends that open the heart and shoulders and challenge balance.
Begin and end by chanting Om, and keep the sound of it going mentally with each pose. Warm up your spine by moving it forward, backward, sideways, and into twists, synching up your breath with the movement. With the sequence, modify until your body feels ready for deep backbends. Practice slides 2–9 twice, switching legs for the second round.
See also Backbend Fearlessly with the Dharma Yoga Wheel
Mountain Pose to Wide-Legged Raised-Arm Mountain Pose
Tadasana to Hasta Prasarita Tadasana
1 minute, 8–10 breaths
Build heat with jumping jacks. Start in Mountain Pose, with your arms by your sides and your palms resting against the outsides of your legs. Inhale to swing the arms up and clap the palms overhead while jumping the feet out wide. Exhale to move back to Mountain Pose. Continue, breathing exclusively through the nose.
See also Work It: Mountain Pose