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Backbend Yoga Sequence For Beginners

(Tummee Reference Yoga Sequence)

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Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans

Overview

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Backbend Yoga Sequence For Beginners: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions

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  • Classic Sun Salutation Variation E (Classic Surya Namaskar Variation E)
    A. Begin the sequence for backbends at beginners with the practice of Sun Salutation Variation E

    B. Stand at the short end of the mat in Mountain Pose:

    Inhale - raise the arms up in Raised Arms Pose
    Exhale - bring the torso in a forward fold in Standing Forward Fold Pose
    Inhale/Exhale - raise the chest up and come to Half Forward Fold Pose.
    Inhale - bring the left foot forward and go into Crescent Low Lunge Pose.
    Exhale - sit down in Downward Facing Hero Pose.
    Inhale/Exhale - bring the knee down and chest down to go into Eight Limbed Pose.
    Inhale - raise the chest up and go into Upward Facing Dog Pose.
    Exhale - bring the chest and shoulders down to Downward Facing Dog Pose.
    Inhale/Exhale - go back to Downward Facing Hero. Take 2-3 breaths here.
    Inhale - bring the right foot forward to go into Crescent Low Lunge Pose.
    Exhale - stretch the torso to go into Standing Forward Fold Pose.
    Inhale - raise the arms up to go into a deeper stretch with the backbend in Raised Arms Pose.
    Exhale - relax to come back to Tadasana. Take a few breaths to relax the breathing.

    C. Repeat the Sun Salutation Variation E one more time.

    D. A great way to warm up the lower back with poses like Raised Arms Pose, Upward Facing Dog Pose, Crescent Low Lunge Pose along with counter movements to open the lower back muscles for easy flow in backbend stretches.
  • Standing Backbend Hands Behind Head (Anuvittasana Hands Behind Head)
    A. Release and from Mountain Pose:

    Inhale - bring the palms of the hand to rest at the back of the head.
    Exhale - adjusting the fingers as they interlock.
    Inhale - take the head in a backbend while pushing the shoulders and the chest inwards.
    Exhale - push the head back and keep the back stretched.
    Inhale/Exhale - to remain for 4 breaths in Standing Backbend Hands Behind Head Pose.

    B. Stretch deeper keeping the alignment of shoulders and hips perfect.

    C. A simple backbend that will help in improving in breathing with the use of the upper body as the stretch happens.

    D. Feel the stretch right from the base of the spine and use the breathing to help with the stretch.

    E. Release and come to rest back on Mountain Pose.
  • Standing Reverse Prayer Column Extension (Paschima Namaskarasana Column Extension)
    A. From Tadasana:

    Inhale - bring the hands behind your shoulder blades, in Anjali Mudra.
    Exhale - take the shoulders and the chest inwards and outwards respectively, as you drop the head back.
    Inhale/Exhale - breathing and bending to remain for 5 breaths in Standing Reverse Prayer Column Extension.

    B. Take the head back while throwing the chest out and breath deep.

    C. Another backbend to help improve breathing while using the upper body.

    D. Release and come to Mountain Pose.
  • Pyramid Pose Prep With Backbend (Parsvottanasana Prep With Backbend)
    A. From Mountain Pose:

    Inhale - take the right leg back to increase the distance between the feet.
    Exhale - get comfortable with the distance.
    Inhale - place the hands behind your lower back and take the head behind.
    Exhale - stretch the chest and the neck while dropping the head back.
    Inhale/Exhale - to stay in this backbend of Pyramid Pose Prep With Backbend for 4 breaths.

    B. Push the lower back in and take the shoulder blades close to each other for using the chest muscles to help with the upper back curve.

    C. Keep the head dropped back to create the backbend at the neck too.

    D. Release and come to rest back in Mountain Pose.

    E. Repeat with the other leg and go into the backbend to remain for 4 breaths. Release and come back to Mountain Pose.
  • Sky Archer Pose
    A. From Mountain Pose:

    Inhale - take the right foot back creating a comfortable distance between the feet.
    Exhale - keep the spine extended.
    Inhale - take the arms above your head and hold the wrist, stretching the upper body backwards.
    Exhale - go with the head back and look up.
    Inhale/Exhale - to remain in this stretch for the entire upper body in Sky Archer Pose for about 4 breaths.

    B. As you exhale you stretch backwards using the feet as the support to hold in balance. A strong lower body helps with backbends both with balance and stability.

    C. Release and come back to Mountain Pose. Repeat with the other side taking the left foot back to stay for 4 breaths.
  • Reverse Warrior Pose Wrist Hold (Viparita Virabhadrasana Wrist Hold)
    A. Taking the practice a little deeper, from Mountain Pose:

    Inhale - take the right foot back creating a comfortable distance between the feet.
    Exhale - keep the spine extended.
    Inhale - take the arms above your head and hold the wrist, stretching the upper body backwards. While doing this bend the left knee.
    Exhale - go with the head back and look up.
    Inhale/Exhale - to remain in this stretch for the entire upper body in Reverse Warrior Pose Wrist Hold.

    B. Watch how the stretch feels more comfortable here than the previous one while the knees are bent to give more support.

    C. Release and relax back in Mountain Pose. Repeat with the other leg and stay for 4 breaths.
  • Flamingo Pose
    A. Release, from Tadasana:

    Inhale - bend the right leg at the knee and while holding it with the right hand from behind, raise the left arm up.
    Exhale - stretch the torso upwards and keep the chest out while maintaining the balance.
    Inhale/Exhale - to balance on one foot in Flamingo Pose and to stay for 5 breaths.

    B. Balancing on one foot at the beginners level may seem a challenge, but if the breathing is slow and deep while the focus is at one point then it can be mastered.

    C. Stay stretching and ground the other leg firm towards the floor.

  • Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
    A. From Flamingo Pose:

    Inhale - take the right leg to be raised behind you upwards, while extending the left hand in front.
    Exhale - bend the back and take the chest in front and the hip behind.
    Inhale/Exhale - to remain in balance in Dancer Pose.

    B. Make sure the foot is firm on the floor and the knee is not bend with the grounded leg. Take the torso in a backbend.

    C. At the beginners level one will lose balance, but if the focus is on one point and the breathing is slow and steady it should be easy.
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Note: Above yoga sequence is for educational purposes only. Please consult a medical professional and/or a licensed yoga teacher or yoga therapist before starting any exercise regime, including yoga.

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