Pixie has put together a backbend sequence targeting new and intermediate students. The sequence aims to prepare the legs and the upper back for headstand and backbend work. The sequence concludes with a winding down to release the back and balance the body.
For some of the poses in this sequence the following equipment may be required. As always, replacements can be used where necessary.
- 1 x bolster
- 1 x belt
- 1 x chair
- 4 x blankets
Lying over a bolster with head support or 3 blankets folded lengthways in half, with head support.
Forehead extend forward, buttocks to the feet.
On the breath. Synchronise movement with the breath.
Stand with arms fully extended downwards. Feet together.
Change the interlock of the fingers.
Or hold elbows if palms don’t come together.
Use belt to hold if needed.
Hands to wall. Palms on floor, index finger and thumb to the wall.
Or walk feet up wall if not able to kick up to wall.
Remain with concave spine. Hands to floor or to bricks if you can’t reach.
Concave spine and then head towards floor.
If unable to go up, do preparation, with our without blocks.
1. Tadasana with feet apart
2. Urdhva Hastasana
4. Step right foot then left foot to Adho Mukha Svanasana
5. Step L then R foot forward to Uttanasana
6. Urdhva Hastasana back to Tadasana
1. Adho Mukha Svanasana
2. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana toes tucked under
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana
4. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana toes extending backwards
Hold belt if can’t reach ankles. Stretch toes back away from you.
Reach both hands to feet. Put a bolster on lower calf if unable to reach.
Keep shins pressing into floor, and backs of knees open 90 degrees. Head in line with 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.
Hold ankles (or belt to ankles) and lift buttocks and outer hips high up. Big toes onto floor, knees pointing forward.
Upright brick under sacrum. Keep the knees bent, big toes into floor. Knees point forward.
Hands to shins or floor, brick between upper thighs.
Release spine as muscles give space to bend down.
Brick high up between upper thighs to release the back.
Place brick between navel and sternum so chest rests on brick. Take more height as needed.
Belt on heel.
With brick or rolled blanket under outer hip/thigh as going to side.
Thighs on chair, elbows bent. Sarvangasana support for shoulders.
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 and print
You are welcome to download the sequence and print and distribute it freely. 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.