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Simple Energizing Backbend Sequence

An uplifting backbend sequence for students with 6-18 months experience

Contents

Introduction

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.

View sequence

Supta Baddhakonasana
Supta Baddha Konasana
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
3-5 minutes
Join your feet together, your heels pressed to your pelvis. Lie back over a bolster or other form of support. Relax and let your chest open. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Virasana Forward
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
1 minute
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
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.
Tadasana
Tadasana
Mountain Pose
30 seconds
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.
Urdhva Baddanguliyasana
Urdhva Baddanguliyasana
Upward Salute with Interlocked Fingers
30 seconds per side
Stretch your arms in front of you and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms inside out and lift your arms up overhead, making sure to keep your shoulders open. Change the interlock of your fingers and repeat.
Paschima Namaskar
Paschima Namaskar
Reverse Prayer Pose
30 seconds
Stand in Tadasana and spread your arms outward. Then bring your hands behind your back, join your palms together, and walk them up to capacity. If you lack wrist mobility, you can also simply grab hold of your elbows.
Gomukhasana Arms
Gomukhasana Arms
Cow Face Pose
30 seconds per side
Extend your left arm up and the right one down. Bend your elbows and reach your hands toward each other from behind. If clasping them is not possible, use a belt or strap. Pull your elbows in opposite directions. Repeat on both sides.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
45 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.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Handstand
15-30 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.
Parsvottanasana
Parsvottanasana
Intense Side Stretch Pose
45 seconds per side
Place your feet one leg-length apart, your back foot angled out slightly. Keep your legs straight as you start to fold over your front leg, maintaining a concave spine for as far into the bend as possible.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Head Down)
Prasarita Padottanasana
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
1 minute
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 minutes
Activate your shoulders and upper back muscles as you lift your body up into inverted balance. Use the wall for support if necessary.
Mini Salute to the Sun Cycle
Mini Sun Salutation
Repeat 3 times
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.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
On the breath
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.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Upward-Facing Dog Pose
On the breath
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.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
On the breath
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.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Upward-Facing Dog Pose
On the breath
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.
Dhanurasana
Dhanurasana
Bow Pose
10-25 seconds, 2 repeats
As you lie on your belly grab a hold of your feet from behind. Pull the feet as close to your head as possible, bending back to capacity.
Ustrasana
Ustrasana
Camel Pose
15-20 seconds, 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
20 seconds, 3-4 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.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Shoulder Supported Bridge
1.5 minutes
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.
Uttanasana
Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend
45-60 seconds
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
45 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
1 minute
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
30 seconds per side
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
30 seconds per side
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 (Arms Extended)
Halasana (Arms Extended)
Plough Pose
4-5 minutes
Activate your shoulders as you lift your hips up overhead and bring your feet over to the floor behind your head. You can use a chair to support your legs if you need to.
Virasana Forward
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
1-2 minutes
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.
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.