Cultivating an At-Home Practice with Safe Backbends

Why Incorporate A Variety of Backbends? Along with inversions, backbends form the peak of the intensity curve in this sequence, since these are demanding postures that require a strong degree of effort. Backbends stretch the front of the body, strengthen the back of the body, and balance the effects of time spent sitting in chairs. Most people find back bending postures stimulating, so you might choose to emphasize backbends in your practice if you want a burst of physical and mental energy.

The Approach: 

Begin with prone (face-down) backbends like Sphinx Pose or Cobra Pose. Since prone postures strengthen and warm your spinal muscles, they are good preparation for supine (face-up) poses, such as Bridge Pose or Wheel pose which create a greater range of movement in the shoulders, spine, and hips. It's a good idea to repeat each pose two or three times since most bodies will require a few rounds to open completely.