In this session, advanced-level students will go through a stabilising and straightforward backbend sequence, building into Urdhva Dhanurasana and Kapotasana with the hands back to the wall. The aim here is to end the session feeling steady, strong and focussed.
Start with Supta Virasana and then come up to Virasana forward. Uttanasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana, staying a few extra breaths in each to start to settle into the practice and get a feel for where your body and mind are.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana and Pincha Mayurasana follow. Four standing poses with the back foot to the wall to keep stable and focussed, observing specific points to bring integration: Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana 1, Utkatasana and Prasarita Padottanasana.
Sirsasana to get the balancing and energising effect and to keep up our inversions. (Included here is a modified version of Sirsasana doing the preparation with a block into the upper back against the wall for those not fully inverting).
Then we move into a few preparatory backbends to engage the legs and the back of the body to lead into Urdhva Dhanurasana, our main backbend, which will be repeated 8 times in different ways.
For today the sequence includes various block heights to feel how each has an effect on the dorsal spine and brings us more freedom in the backbend overall.
We finish the backbends with two times Kapotasana, taking the hands back and walking them down the wall.
The sequence finishes with releasing and quietening poses: Uttanasana with a block, Parsva Uttanasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana, Supta Padangusthasana 1 and 2, Ardha Halasana (or legs up the wall over a bolster with added block underneath) and Savasana.
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You are welcome to download the PDF of the sequence and print and distribute it freely. You may have to wait up to 30 seconds for the PDF to generate. Please credit the teacher who created it. All illustrations from Dona Holleman’s ‘Yoga Darśana’, RIMYI Institute texts and Yoga Vastu illustrators for original asana drawings.