The freedom of body, heart, and spirit begins with a healthy spine. Playing with spinal movement can unlock powerful access points for spinal space. Ashleigh Sergeant Grokker, the Yoga Expert, shares how to explore and practice new and familiar backbends. She also explains the benefits of practicing these poses. These practices will result in more energy, vitality, and a happier you! Here are some of her favorite backbends.
Full Wheel pose
To begin with, take a Sun Salutation and bring your body to a comfortable, balanced position. Your body should feel warm and ready to practice this pose. Next, press your palms into the mat, lifting the hips toward the ceiling. Keep your neck and head neutral, and your arms should remain straight and pointed upwards. As you lower your body into the Wheel pose, the shoulders will naturally align with your head.
This pose is a great backbend, but it can be challenging to get right. Start by warming your body and stretching your glutes and upper back muscles. Be sure to squeeze your hands together while holding the position. Next, pull your knees and shoulders and make sure your hands are flat on the floor. You may find it easier to do if your instructor guides you into the pose. If you’re unsure how to hold the pose, practice it while standing.
Depending on your ability, you can modify the pose in various ways. If you’re a beginner, try a milder version of this pose before attempting Full Wheel. Once you’ve achieved the basic understanding, you can work your way up to a full-blown back bend. If unsure how to hold the pose, try placing a strap around your thighs. The belt will keep the thighs apart and provide the support you need.
For the full-body back bend, try to look like an upside-down U or V. It can be challenging and may feel intense. Make sure to listen to your body and modify the pose if you feel discomfort or wrist pain. You can also breathe deeply to relieve wrist aches and other discomforts. It’s best to work at this pose until you can do it comfortably. If it feels too difficult, stop.
When practicing the Wheel Pose, you can use a bolster for support or a block underneath your back. Angled blocks or yoga straps can help your elbows and wrists stay in place. You can also use a yoga strap or a deterrent to keep your knees from splaying out while performing the pose. Then, you can deepen the pose by bringing your hands to your feet and extending your legs backward.
To begin this posture, you need to shift your body weight to the left foot, lift your right leg at a 45-degree angle, and push your tailbone towards the ceiling. Once you have achieved this position, you can move your feet closer to each other and add a deeper back bend. With this practice, you’ll notice a difference in your back, shoulders, and thighs. You’ll soon see that it’s a great way to relieve shoulder and arm tension.
Reverse Tabletop backbend
The Free You Reverse Tabletop backbend is a standard, low-impact yoga pose. Using a chair as support, lay on your back with hips hanging and palms facing overhead. Inhale through your nose, and lift your thighs away from your head. You can also straighten one leg and press the sole toward the floor. Attempt this posture on both sides.
The Free You Reverse Tabletop backbend is a typical yoga pose that stretches the low back and opens the chest. In addition to strengthening the back muscles, this pose also engages the hip flexors. The legs should be hip-width apart. While performing the Free You Reverse Tabletop backbend, a warm-up is a good idea. Before attempting this pose, it is essential to stretch your hip flexors and chest and relax your head.
This yoga pose begins from a seated staff position. Tighten your chest, shoulders, and arms to do the reverse tabletop. Keep your feet flat on the floor and use your body weight to hold the pose. As you raise your leg, keep your elbows in a neutral position. You can even use a weighted vest to make the pose more challenging. This exercise will help you improve your posture and avoid joint back pain.
This freeyoubackbend tabletop backbend is a great way to warm up before attempting a higher backbend. Sit on a mat with your arms behind you. Engage your abdominals and bring your head and chest to the mat for parallel alignment. Exhale while pressing your hands into the carpet. Lower your chest and hips to the mat and support your wrists with a folded blanket.
Hold the pose with poise and strength. Release your gluteal and lower back muscles, and lengthen your knees away from your head. Breathing helps you relax your muscles, so focus on inhaling profoundly and consciously relaxing during the exhalation. Then, return to the tabletop position. This pose is an excellent way to strengthen the abdominals and tone your tummy. Here are some tips to help you get into this challenging yoga posture.