In this post I show you four backbends, along with tips for alignment, so you can feel more energised and build strength.
For each individual backbend posture there will also be differences and additions relating to other parts of the body which I don’t cover in this post.
What I have listed are the main alignment tips to be aware of when you’re learning how to do backbending.
Remember you don’t have to get these backbends straight away.
Practice regularly with a skillful teacher to help you understand how to do backbends and over time you’ll start to feel them more easily in your body.
4 backbends for energy and strength
- Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Camel (Ustrasana)
- Bow (Dhanurasana)
- Wheel / Upward Bow (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
1. Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
2. Camel (Ustrasana)
3. Bow (Dhanurasana)
4. Wheel / Upward Bow (Urdvha Dhanurasana)
Alignment tips common to all backbends
- Lengthen your sitting bones towards your knees to create a length and broadness in your lower back (you’re not tucking under).
- Press your pelvis forward (if kneeling) or up (if supine).
- Lift your sternum (breast bone).
- Direct the lower tips of your shoulder blades down and into the back as you lift the sternum.
- In upward-facing backbends:
- start with left heel under left knee and right heel under right knee.
- toes are not turned out, big toes are in line with your inner heels, feet are placed in a parallel fashion.
When you’re learning how to do backbends, get yourself a brick-shaped block like I’m using in the photos above. Using a block is a helpful way to show your body how to get into the alignment needed.