Common Title Standing Backbend
English Title Standing Backbend
Sanskrit Title Anuvittasana
All Titles Standing Backbend, Anuvittasana,
Pose Level Beginner
Pose Position Standing
Pose Type Back-Bend, Stretch, Balance
Sanskrit Pronunciation Play Audio

Are you a yoga teacher? Sign-up to create your own lists of yoga poses using our yoga class planning software.

Yoga Sequences

List of yoga sequences with Standing Backbend:

My Sequences

Are you a yoga teacher? Try yoga sequence builder to create your own visual library of yoga sequences. Join your fellow yoga teachers!

This yoga pose has two names to it which are explained below:

  • Anuvittasana or Standing Backbend
      In Sanskrit - ‘anuvitta’ = ‘obtained,’ or ‘found,’. The same pose in English is referred to as Standing Backbend.
  • Ardha Chakrasana or Half Wheel Pose
      In Sanskrit - ‘ardha’ = ‘half,’ and ‘chakra’ = ‘wheel,’. The same pose in English is referred to as Half Wheel Pose.

      Going forward we will refer to this yoga pose as Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose). Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose) is a standing beginner level backbend. It acts as a foundation for many other levels of backbend yoga poses. The practice of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), begins with Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose). For beginners, during this practice, the hands are placed on the hips giving better support for the back in the backbend.

      Anuvittasana is considered a base pose as anuvittasana variations can be derived from this pose. Anuvittasana helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences. Anuvittasana is considered a warm-up yoga pose to prepare the body for more intense yoga poses / yoga flow.


      Anuvittasana helps open, activate, and balance the following chakra(s):
      • Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra)
      • Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra)
      • Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)


      Anuvittasana benefits the following muscles and hence can be included in yoga sequences with the corresponding muscle(s) focus:
      • Lower Back
      • Middle Back
      • Upper Back
      • Chest
      • Neck
      • Psoas

      Anuvittasana yoga sequences

      Anuvittasana is commonly found in the following types of yoga sequences:
      • Gentle yoga sequences
      • Prenatal yoga sequences
      • Yoga sequences for teenagers
      • Yoga sequences for relieving lower back pain
      • Middle back focused sequences
      • Upper back focused sequences
      • Heart opening yoga sequences
      • Yoga therapy sequences for neck
      • Yoga sequences for psoas

How to do Anuvittasana

The below cues and yoga sequences added by yoga teachers show multiple ways to do Anuvittasana depending on the focus of your yoga sequence and the ability of your students.

To view the complete steps and corresponding yoga sequence, please consider signing-up to yoga sequence builder that is trusted by yoga teachers worldwide to plan their yoga classes. Learn more.

  1. Counter pose:
    hands to lumbar and work slowly t/w back arch
  2. IN: Bend backwards.
    EX: Bend forward.
  3. Place your palms on your lower back, fingers toward the floor.

    Elbows back, shoulders back and chest lifted.

    Lean back to create a small back bend. Only go as far as your back is comfortable.

    Stay strong in the legs and abdomen.

    Come back up and bring your hands down by your sides to ...
  4. standing, engage the belly button to the back spine. feel the feet firmly planted on the floor.
    legs engaged bring your palms to the low back. inhale and exhale lifting chest and chin up.
    DO NOT BEND FROM THE LOW BACK. this is a small but effective chest opener, just lift the chest and chin just...
  5. Place your hands on your lower back, palms are on either side of spine for support, finger tips facing down towards mat. Elbow are bent slightly.
    Inhale - leg then spine, shoulders down
    Exhale - slowly bring gaze up and back, expanding chest and arching lower back
    Breathe for 3,2,1
    Inhale - ris...
  6. Exhaling with hands on lower back - fingers pointing down
  7. Standing Backbend, you have a couple options here,

    3. Breathe and hold 3-7 breaths.

  8. Optionally, you can try the same sequence from Ustrasana (#11) with a standing backbend. But remember not to push your back too far or push through any pain. This should not hurt-if it does you've gone too far for you. Keep breathing and hold for as long as you're comfortable (max 5 breaths). Slowly...
  9. A. Release and as a counter pose, stand bending your back in a slight back bend in Standing Backbend.

    B. Remain releasing the overstretched back in Anuvittasana for about 5 breaths.
  10. .A. Release and come to stand with feet together in simple Tadasana and take a few breaths.

    B. Inhale and place the palms on the lower back close to the hips, and as you exhale take the head behind you throwing it gently back.

    C. Inhale again and push the lower back inside while taking the che...
  11. Standing Backbend, you have a couple options here,

    1. Place the palms on the low back/sacrum with the fingers pointed down or facing up. Press into the feet, pull up the knee caps, and squeeze the thighs and buttocks.

    2. On an exhale, press the hips forward and begin to arch the torso backwar...

  12. D. Anuvittasana, with the chest out and shoulders back, helps to open the shoulders and also improves the breathing with the chest. This pose also improves the balance focusing on the gentle breathing.

  13. Place hands on low back fingers pointing downwards towards the floor, or upwards towards the ceiling for more of a stretch, INHALE arch towards back of room


    INHALE come up to center
  14. A. Release and as a counter pose, stand bending your back in a slight back bend in Standing Backbend.

    B. Remain releasing the overstretched back in Anuvittasana for about 5 breaths.

Discover more cues, teaching ideas, and how to do steps at How to Do Anuvittasana

Anuvittasana Benefits

Anuvittasana Benefits:

As Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose) is a simple standing backbend, the practice of the same can be done by anyone. Though initially, this yoga pose may seem hard on the lower back (which is obvious), yet this very same simple posture comes with many encouraging reasons to practice. Given below are the benefits explained in detail:

  1. Muscles and Flexibility: The contraction of the muscles around the hips and the lower back, while in the backbend helps with both the toning and flexibility of these muscles. Muscles that stretch and contract improve its range of motion over time. Hence you can say, Ardha Chakrasana improves the flexibility of the hips and lower back (spine).
  2. Abdomen and Digestion: In Ardha Chakrasana, the abdominal muscles are stretched upwards, which help with toning and strengthening. The deep stretch here reduces the excess fat around at the belly too. It slowly helps in stimulating the internal organs leading to an improved digestion.
  3. Heart and Blood Pressure: This simple standing backbend can be a great practice to open the heart, and hence sometimes is used for the better functioning of the heart. The practice also regulates the blood pressure.
  4. Lungs and Respiratory: The stretching of the muscles around the chest and the diaphragm, breathing to the maximum with the lungs is encouraged. This stretching improves the functioning of the lungs reducing any respiratory disorders.
  5. Balance and awareness: The backbe...
Continue reading more on Anuvittasana Benefits

Anuvittasana Contraindications

 (Anuvittasana) Anuvittasana Contraindications: You should avoid this pose (or reach out to an experienced teacher), if you have any of the following:
  • Neck injury
  • Heart issues such as high blood pressure
  • Vertigo

Anuvittasana Variations

Anuvittasana Variations: Below are some common variations of the yoga pose Anuvittasana with base pose as Standing Backbend Pose (Anuvittasana).

Anuvittasana Steps

 (Anuvittasana) Anuvittasana Steps:
  1. End the sequence by taking the upper body a bit back bending at the hip after releasing the body from Chair Pose.
  2. Inhale come up straightening the knees and raising the upper body.
  3. Inhale again and take the neck, shoulders and the chest backward, placing the hands on the hip for better support and go into Anuvittasana.
  4. Exhale completely at the pose and begin slow breathing watching the chest and the abdomen expand with the breathing.
  5. This pose will protect the back from any stiffness that may arise while running and also keeps the digestion under control.
  6. Remain for about 6 breaths if possible or as per the body comfort. Release from the pose and remain standing straight closing your eyes and bring the breath to normal.
  7. Bring the body to relax while standing with deep breathing and stay calm and focused on easing the body.
  8. Never practice Savasana after the above sequences and before running. It is better to go into Kapalabathi Pranayam if one feels a bit tired to relax the brain.
Learn more: Anuvittasana Steps

Anuvittasana Modifications

We have 1750+ yoga poses with many Anuvittasana modifications along with 10000+ reference yoga sequences and cues. Please sign-up to view different modifications of Anuvittasana to plan your yoga classes and yoga sequences.

Anuvittasana Preparatory Poses

Please sign-up to view preparatory poses for Anuvittasana. We have 10000+ reference sequences along with foundational yoga sequences built from a library of 1750+ yoga poses (with new yoga poses added daily).

Anuvittasana Relaxing Follow-up Poses

Please sign-up to view relaxing follow-up poses for Anuvittasana. We have 10000+ reference sequences along with foundational yoga sequences built from a library of 1750+ yoga poses (with new yoga poses added daily).

Learn more about us.

Anuvittasana Level Up Follow-up Poses

Please sign-up to view level up follow-up poses for Anuvittasana. We have 10000+ reference sequences along with foundational yoga sequences built from a library of 1750+ yoga poses (with new yoga poses added daily).

Anuvittasana Yoga Sequences

Anuvittasana Titles in English and Sanskrit

Many yoga poses have multiple titles because of differences in their Sanskrit to English title translation or a specific title becoming popular because of it's common usage amongst yoga teachers and yoga practitioners. Below are common titles of Anuvittasana:

  • Standing Backbend
  • Anuvittasana

Anuvittasana Sanskrit

Anuvittasana sanskrit title is Anuvittasana

Please click on the link below to listen to Sanskrit pronunciation of Standing Backbend (Anuvittasana):
Sanskrit audio pronunciation for  Anuvittasana Play Sanskrit audio pronunciation for Anuvittasana

More about Anuvittasana