Simple Backbend

Sitting comfortably on your heels with your hands firmly planted on the ground for support enables you to lift your chest high in this arching backbend. Breathing into the chest as you hold the pose helps expand your lungs while deepening the backbend.

  1. Kneel down, toes pointing back, and sit on your heels, hands resting on your thighs.
  2. Place your palms on the floor behind your buttocks, fingers pointing back.
  3. Lean back and rest your weight on your hands. Look forward.
  4. Inhale as you lift your chest, arching your spine. Lift up from the base of your spine, allowing the arch to move into your upper back. Gently stretch your neck back if comfortable. Breathe normally as you hold for 3 to 20 seconds.
  5. To come out of the pose, exhale, slowly straighten your spine, and then lift your head. Sit upright and bring your hands to your thighs.
  6. Relax your back, shoulders, and neck.

Hints

  • Be aware that your entire spine is gently arching backward as you stretch the front of your shoulders and chest.
  • While holding the pose, with each inhalation, press your palms down firmly, expanding your chest a little more. As you exhale, maintain the expansion in your chest.

Easier Options

  • When getting into position in Step 2, turn your hands so your fingers point out to the sides instead of to the back.
  • In Step 4, keep your chin slightly tucked instead of stretching your neck back.

More Challenging

  • To intensify the pose, walk your hands back further, which will increase the stretch around your shoulders.

Benefits

  • Helps improve posture by expanding the chest and loosening the shoulders
  • Facilitates deep breathing
  • Stretches the spine and develops flexibility in the upper back
  • Tones the kidneys

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