Skip to main content

Upper Back Opening Sequence

A sequence to help open up and release the upper back.

Contents

Introduction

Pixie has put together a sequence to help release tension in the upper back, and open up for fluid movement of the body. Beginning with forward bends and arm work with namaskar and gomukhasana, and working up to opening the upper back and shoulders with bharadvajasana and chatushpadasana.

Equipment required

For some of the poses in this sequence the following equipment may be required. As always, replacements can be used where necessary.

  • 1 x chair
  • 2 x blocks
  • 2 x belts
  • 2 x bolster
  • 3 x blankets

You can buy all your equipment via iYogaProps

View sequence

Supta Baddhakonasana
Supta Baddhakonasana
3 minutes

Lie back over a bolster or folded blankets. Belt behind pelvis and feet.

Simple Cross Legs Forward
Simple Cross Legs Forward
30 seconds per side

Rest forehead on support. Use height under buttocks if needed. Switch the cross of the legs.

Half Uttanasana
Half Uttanasana
30 seconds

Hands to wall. Buttocks in line over hips.

Headstand Preparation with Blocks
Headstand Preparation with Blocks
5-6 breaths

With block if available. Repeat 3-4 times.

Urdhva Baddanguliyasana
Urdhva Baddanguliyasana
5-6 breaths per side

Draw elbows in. Extend palms upwards. Change interlock and repeat.

Paschima Namaskar
Paschima Namaskar
5-8 breaths

Stand in tadasana. Feet hip-width. Join hands behind back or hold elbows.

Gomukhasana Arms
Gomukhasana Arms
5-8 breaths per side

Stand in tadasana. Feet hip-width apart. Use belt if needed.

Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
45 seconds

Use blocks perpendicular to wall. Spread palms - thumb to one side, little finger to the other.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
30 seconds

To the wall. Hands about a foot away from the wall. Open dorsal spine away from wall.

Bharadvajasana I
Bharadvajasana I
4-5 breaths each side

Take back hand to block if shoulders are stiff.

Utthita Marichyasana
Utthita Marichyasana
4-5 breaths each side

Stand with bent-knee hip against the wall. Keep hips level.

Chatushpadasana
Chatushpadasana
5 breaths

Belt for feet if needed. Repeat twice.

Simple Cross Legs Forward
Simple Cross Legs Forward
45 seconds per side

Head support on block. Use support under buttocks if needed.

Lying Back Over Bricks Step 1
Lying Back Over Bricks Step 1
1 minute

Lie over two blocks placing top edge of shoulders to edge of block.

Lying Back Over Bricks Step 2
Lying Back Over Bricks Step 2
1.5 minutes

Slightly raise buttocks and slide shoulders half-way to floor. Rest buttocks down.

Lying Back Over Bricks Step 3
Lying Back Over Bricks Step 3
1.5 minutes

Raise the buttocks, slide shoulders all the way to the floor. Release buttocks down then extend legs out.

Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
2 minutes

Blanket added for height as required.

Simple Cross Legs Forward
Simple Cross Legs Forward
45 seconds per side

Head support on block. Use support under buttocks if needed.

Savasana
Savasana
5-10 minutes

Lie flat with blanket support for head.