Backbends are yoga postures that involve arching the back and opening the chest. They help to improve flexibility of the spine, strengthen the core muscles, and open the lungs for deeper breathing. Backbends create a sense of energy and can help improve mental clarity and focus. Common backbend postures include Upward Facing Dog, Wheel Pose, Camel Pose, Bridge Pose, and Bow Pose.
Upward Facing Dog: This posture is done by lying on the stomach with the arms extended overhead, palms flat on the mat. Then the hands, feet, and shoulders are lifted off the ground, opening the chest and creating an arch in the upper back. Practice this pose with caution if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or a shoulder injury.
Wheel Pose: This pose is done by starting on the back with the feet flat on the ground and the knees bent. The arms are placed on either side of the head and the palms are Flat on the ground. The belly is engaged and the hips are lifted and rolled upwards, opening the chest and creating an arc in the back.This pose should not be practiced if you have high blood pressure, neck or back injuries, or joint pain.
Camel Pose: This pose is done by kneeling on the ground with the hands placed on the lower back and the fingers pointing down. Then, the chest is opened and the arms and head are dropped back as far as possible, creating an arch in the upper back.This pose is not recommended for those with high blood pressure, neck pain, or shoulder injuries.
Bridge Pose: This posture is done by lying on the back with the legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Then, the hips and glutes are lifted off the ground, creating an arch in the lower back. The hands can be placed on the ground or interlaced behind the back for additional support.Avoid this pose if you have neck injuries or lower back problems.People with back, neck, or shoulder injuries should avoid this posture. It is also not recommended for pregnant women or those with respiratory issues.
Bow Pose: This posture is done by lying on the stomach with the arms tucked into the sides. The legs are bent and the ankles are grasped with the hands. The elbows are pushed against the thighs, lifting the chest and torso off the ground, creating an arch in the middle back.