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Daily mini-sequence focussing on backbends

A short backbend sequence to help you open up the back of your body.

Contents

Introduction

This mini-sequence leads you through a sequence of backbends for when you’re short on time, or just want to do a bit of practice in the morning before running out the door. A great routine you can return to regularly. It is also a routine that, despite including some advanced poses, can be modified and simplified to suit practically any level.

We start in Supta Virasana and then move to Virasana Forward. Come up to Adho Mukha Svanasana, Virasana Forward then Adho Mukha Vrksasana (full arm balance).

Adho Mukha Svanasana (dogpose) and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (upward dog) lead us into some backbends to the floor: Salabhasana one leg at a time, then the full pose; Ustrasana and Chatushpadasana. If the two latter poses are too advanced, you can modify them. For example, for Ustrasana, you can place a stool or chair or bolster over your legs and place your hands there, thus making the backbend milder. As for Chatushpadasana, if this is too strenuous, you can simply take Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, with or without support. After going through this short backbend routine, we release the back in Dogpose and Virasana Forward with hands to the blocks.

To finish we do legs up the walls with bolster support. We bring our legs to Swastikasana before moving into Savasana with bent knees.

View sequence

Supta Virasana
Reclining Hero Pose
Lay on your back with your legs bent, your toes pointing backward.
Virasana Forward into Adho Mukha Svanasana
Forward Facing Hero Pose into Downward Facing Dog Pose
Back and forward transition from Virasana Forward to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Change poses on the breath, attempt to go deeper into each pose with every repetition.
Tadasana
Mountain Pose
Stand up tall and straight, place your feet close together, with your heels and big toes touching. Imagine as if you are standing with your back against the wall. Extend your whole body from the heels up through the crown of your head.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Handstand
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.
Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend
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.
Mini Salute to the Sun Cycle
Start in Tadasana. As you inhale, raise your arms up to the ceiling. As you exhale, fold over into Uttanasana. Walk your feet out into Adho Mukha Svanasana, stretch the back of your body, lift your hips up to capacity. Walk your feet back up into Uttanasana and let your spine release downwards. As you inhale, stand back up in Tadasana.
Tadasana
Mountain Pose
Stand up tall and straight, place your feet close together, with your heels and big toes touching. Imagine as if you are standing with your back against the wall. Extend your whole body from the heels up through the crown of your head.
Adho Mukha Svanasana to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Downward Facing Dog into Upward Facing Dog
Start in Adho Mukha Svanasana. As you inhale, shift forward and push yourself up into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. Lift yourself up on your extended arms and point your chest forward.
Daily mini-sequence focussing on backbends
Locust Pose
Lie down on your belly. Reach your arms back and lift your legs, head, and chest up off the floor as high as possible, using your core strength.
Ustrasana
Camel Pose
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.
Daily mini-sequence focussing on backbends
Diamond Pose
Sit in a kneeling position with the feet together right beneath the buttocks.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Shoulder Supported Bridge
Start by lying down. Press your shoulders into the floor, using them as leverage to lift your hips up to capacity. Use your hands to support your back and allow yourself to go into a deeper stretch. You can also place a block below your lumbar spine for support.
Chatushpadasana
Four-Footed Pose
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.
Virasana Forward into Adho Mukha Svanasana
Forward Facing Hero Pose into Downward Facing Dog Pose
Back and forward transition from Virasana Forward to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Change poses on the breath, attempt to go deeper into each pose with every repetition.
Viparita Karani
Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
Bring your hips up to the wall and lift your legs up. You can use a bolster or other form of support under your hips and lumbar spine to incorporate a mild backbend into the pose.
Supta Swastikasana
Simple Cross Legs Lying Back
Cross your legs and lie back over support or straight onto your mat.
Savasana
Corpse Pose
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.