Maybe you are one of those naturally flexible people who have no problems in bending all over the place, but for others, progressing in this area can be very frustrating. Remember that it doesn’t happen overnight, but a steady practice can greatly increase you flexibility, little by little. Here’s a few tips to increase the flexibility in your back and open your heart.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog
Lying face down on the floor, bring your hands on each side of your ribs. Inhale, push down on the floor, straighten your arms and at the same time, lift your torso up. Do not rest on your shoulders. Keep your chest open. Don’t let the knees rest on the floor. Look straight ahead or tip the head back slightly, make sure not to to compress the back of the neck. Stay here for 5 breaths.
Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
Lie down on your stomach with your feet hips width distance apart and arms by your sides. Bend your knees, grab your ankles. Inhale, push the feet into your hands and lift the chest up off the ground. Hold and breathe here for 5 breaths. Exhale and slowly release.
Ustrasana – Camel Pose
Kneel on the floor with your knees hips width distance apart. Inhale, lift your sternum up, engage your lower belly. Exhale reach back and drop your hands toward your heels while pushing your hips forward. Remember to keep the chest raised at all times. Press the palms of your hands into the heels of your feet and relax the neck. Keep your gaze at the tip of your nose. Stay and breathe here for 5 breaths. Inhale slowly come up, release the hands from the feet and lower down into child’s pose.
Urdhva Dhanurasana – Wheel Pose
Lie down with your back on the floor, bend your knees and bring your heels as close to the sit bones as possible. Place your hands by your ears, fingers facing towards your feet. Inhale lift the hips up, lift the head up and straighten the arms. Relax the glutes and remember to breathe. Keep the gaze down towards your hands. Stay here between 5 to 10 seconds. Exhale lower down on to the back. Repeat at least 3 times.
Natarajasana – Dancer Pose
Stand in, inhale, bring your weight to your right foot and lift your left heel towards your bum while bending the knee. Grab your inner left foot or ankle with your left hand and push into your left hand, away from your torso. Stretch your right arm forward, in front of your torso, parallel to the floor. Stay here for 5 breaths. Exhale release down to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.
Remember not to push yourself beyond your limits. Backbends can be strong for our bodies if we are not used to moving the spine. Always breathe in each posture and take your time. We hope you take these poses and help improve your own yoga practice. Enjoy! <3