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Backbend Sequence for Experienced Students

A backbend sequence for experienced level 2 and above

Contents

Introduction

Pixie has created a sequence for all levels. We work through some starting sequences, inversions and poses to strengthen the thighs. We work into a full backbend sequences including Urdva Dhanurasana, Dvi Pada Viparita Dandasana, Kapotasana.

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Supta Virasana
Supta Virasana
Reclining Hero Pose
3 minutes
Lay on your back with your legs bent, your toes pointing backward.
Uttanasana
Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend
1 minute
Starting in Tadasana, exhale and reach down towards your feet. Let your spine release downwards. You can bend your knees or place your hands on blocks if you lack the necessary flexibility.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
6-8 times
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body while lifting your hips up as high off the ground as possible. If necessary, bend your knees a little but stay strong in the legs.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Handstand
30-60 seconds
Open your hands into the floor and strengthen your arms as you lift your body up, one leg at a time, into an inverted balance. Use the wall for support if necessary. If pushing yourself up proves to be too difficult, you can walk your feet up the wall.
Pincha Mayurasana
Pincha Mayurasana
Feathered Peacock Pose
30-60 seconds
Spread your weight evenly across your forearms, activate your shoulders, and lengthen your spine as you lift yourself into this inverted balance. Use wall support if needed. You can also wrap a belt around your arms to keep them steady.
Utkatasana
Utkatasana
Chair Pose
30-45 seconds (2 repeats)
Plant your feet firmly into the floor and sit your buttocks back as if sitting into a chair. Keep your knees pointing forward. Make sure your back stays straight as you open up your chest and lift your arms up over your head.
Virabhadrasana I
Virabhadrasana I
Warrior I Pose
30-45 seconds
Angle your back foot outward slightly and straighten your back leg. Lift from your navel up, bring your arms up, and lengthen through the crown of your head. Make sure your front knee and toes are aligned and pointing straight forward.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Head Down)
Prasarita Padottanasana
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
45-60 seconds
Plant your feet as wide apart as you can. Place your hands on the floor and lengthen forward through your spine. Once you have achieved the concave spine, start to walk your hands backward to capacity, aiming to lengthen and release your spine as evenly as possible.
Salamba Sirsasana Wall Support
Salamba Sirsasana I
Headstand 1
5-7 minutes
Activate your shoulders and upper back muscles as you lift your body up into inverted balance. Use the wall for support if necessary.
Parsva Sirsasana
Parsva Sirsasana
Side Headstand
30-45 seconds
As you hold your balance in Sirsasana, tilt your feet to the side. Use your core to twist to capacity.
Virasana Forward
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
30-60 seconds
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Upward-Facing Dog Pose
30-45 seconds (3 repeats)
Point your toes backward and activate your arm muscles as you lift the front of your body up off the floor. Keep your hips and thighs firmly grounded. Open your chest and shoulders.
Ustrasana
Ustrasana
Camel Pose
5-6 breaths (2 repeats)
Assume a kneeling position. Then, open your chest and shoulders as you reach back towards your feet. To decrease the intensity of the bend, lay a bolster over your ankles.
Chatushpadasana
Chatushpadasana
Four-Footed Pose
30 seconds (2 repeats)
Lie down with your knees bent so that your feet are close to your buttocks. Grab onto your ankles and lift your hips up above the ground. Open your chest up and breathe.
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Wheel Pose
20-45 seconds (6 repeats)
Root yourself through your feet and hands as you lift your body up off the floor. You can walk your hands and feet towards each other if you have the flexibility.
Standing Back Arch
Standing Back Arch
3-5 breaths (2 repeats)
Join your hands for prayer at your chest. Tilt your head upwards and, as you inhale, start to tip backward from the lower back up, keeping the hips steady and in line with your feet.
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Wheel Pose
Own pace (2 repeats)
Root yourself through your feet and hands as you lift your body up off the floor. You can walk your hands and feet towards each other if you have the flexibility.
Dvi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Over chair with Knees Bent)
Dvi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Over chair with Knees Bent)
Two-Legged Inverted Staff Pose
30-60 seconds
Keep feet and knees parallel. Use your elbows as leverage to deepen the curve of your spine. The chair helps your back to flow into this bend more naturally.
Backbend Sequence for Experienced Students
Dvi Pada Viparita Dandasana
Two-Legged Inverted Staff Pose
30-60 seconds
Keeping the feet and forearms firmly rooted, start to lift your hips up off the floor. Make sure your shoulders stay open: this will help you achieve greater opening in the chest and a deeper bend in the back.
Kapotasana
Kapotasana
Pigeon Pose
2 repeats
As you kneel, start to walk your hands back down the wall towards your feet. Bend to capacity. Ideally, join your feet, head, and hands together.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
30 seconds
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body while lifting your hips up as high off the ground as possible. If necessary, bend your knees a little but stay strong in the legs.
Uttanasana
Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend
1-3 minutes
Starting in Tadasana, exhale and reach down towards your feet. Let your spine release downwards. You can bend your knees or place your hands on blocks if you lack the necessary flexibility.
Parsva Uttanasana
Parsva Uttanasana
Intense Side Stretch Pose
10 seconds per side (2 repeats)
Fold into Uttanasana and twist by walking your hands to the side. Grab onto your ankle, push against it to go deeper into the twist.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
30-60 seconds
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body while lifting your hips up as high off the ground as possible. If necessary, bend your knees a little but stay strong in the legs.
Virasana Forward
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
30-60 seconds
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
30-60 seconds
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body while lifting your hips up as high off the ground as possible. If necessary, bend your knees a little but stay strong in the legs.
Virasana Forward
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
30-60 seconds
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Supta Padangusthasana I
Supta Padangusthasana I
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
1-1.5 minutes
Press your back body into the floor, point the kneecap and toes of your supine leg toward the ceiling, as you extend the other leg up over your hip. Use a belt if needed.
Supta Padangusthasana II
Supta Padangusthasana II
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
1-1.5 minutes
Press your back body down. Point kneecap and toes on your left leg upward, as you stretch your right leg out to the side. Use a belt if necessary.
Halasana
Halasana
Plough Pose
5-10 minutes
Use support under your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders open, lift your hips up high above your head, dropping your feet down behind you. Place your hands on your back to help keep it from rounding.
Simple Cross Legs Forward
Simple Cross Legs Forward
30-60 seconds per side
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing down as you stretch your arms forward to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Savasana
Savasana
Corpse Pose
5 minutes
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.