Pixie has put together a backbend sequence targeting students with 6-18 months experience. This sequence aims to consolidate your basic backbend practice with accessible poses to build your capacity for a fuller backbend practice.
Lying over a bolster with head support or 3 blankets folded lengthwise in half, with head support.
Alternating downwards to Virasana forwards. Synchronise movement with the breath. Repeat 6-8 times.
Hold elbows if palms don’t come together.
30 seconds each side.
Hands to wall - palms on floor, index finger and thumb to the wall.
Walk feet up wall if not able to kick up to wall - elbows straight.
Concave spine, hands to floor or to bricks if you can’t reach.
Concave and then head towards floor.
Preparation with or without blocks if unable to go up.
Hold belt if can’t reach ankles – stretch toes back away from you. Repeat twice.
Take both hands to feet both at the same time. Put a bolster on lower calf if can’t reach. Keep shins pressing into floor, and backs of knees open 90 degrees. Head in line with the shoulders to keep throat soft.
Come up pressing shins to floor, hips forward, chest forward, head last.
Place hands under heels and lift buttocks up – use belt around ankles if can’t reach. Repeat once.
Second time, hold ankles (or belt to ankles) and lift buttocks and outer hips high up. Big toes onto floor, knees pointing forward.
Repeat 3 to 4 times.
Upright brick under sacrum, knees straight, big toes into floor.
Place lengthways broad edge of brick high up between thighs.
Hands to shins or floor, brick for thighs, release spine as muscles give space to go down.
As you come down to virasana, place brick between navel and sternum so chest rests on brick. Take more height under chest as needed to keep full support. Repeat 2 X.
With brick or rolled blanket under outer hip/thigh as going to side.
If not able to practise halasana, legs up the wall with 1/3 bolster folded up the wall, blanket on the bolster and feet to wall (60 degree angle for legs) blanket for neck, shoulders to floor.
Bolster under knees if back still tight.
Save PDF and print
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.