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BACKBENDS TO OPEN YOUR HEART

Kiana Ng Yoga

Everyone can always use a little more love in their life, whether it be for others or for themselves. These poses will help you open your heart to allow yourself to be open and receptive to love! Hold each pose for 5-10 breaths.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

  • Press tops of feet into mat to lift knee caps & engage quads
  • Slide wrists under elbows
  • Roll shoulders down back
  • Inhale to lift heart forwards & up off the mat

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

  • Press tops of feet into mat to lift knee caps & engage quads
  • Slide wrists under elbows
  • Roll shoulders down back
  • Inhale to lift heart forwards & up off the mat followed by hips

Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

  • Press tops of feet into mat to lift knee caps & engage quads
  • Slide elbows under shoulders
  • Take forearms parallel to one another
  • Roll shoulders down back
  • Press pubic bone into mat slightly

Options:

  • Take hands mat-width apart and lift elbows off mat to move into Seal Pose

Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

  • Press tops of feet into mat to lift knee caps & engage quads
  • Bring legs together
  • Lengthen arms alongside body, palms facing down
  • Roll shoulder down back
  • Inhale to lift everything off mat, except hips

Options:

  • Interlace hands behind back
  • Place hands on ear, elbows bent out to the sides
  • Extend arms forwards

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

  • Take heels in towards seat
  • Reach back with both hands to hold outside edges & tops of feet
  • Inhale to lift heart away from mat
  • Exhale to kick into the hands to arch and lift higher

Options:

  • Half bow: one side at a time with other forearm on mat in front

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

  • Feet are parallel to each other and hip distance apart
  • Ankles are below knees
  • Arms are reaching towards heels, palms down
  • Inhale to press palms & shoulder blades into mat then lift hips
  • Move chest towards chin
  • Relax throat

Options:

  • Interlace hands below hips, pressing pinky fingers into mat
  • Place block under hips for supported bridge

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

  • Start in kneeling position
  • Inhale to lift and expand chest/heart
  • Keep pelvis over knees as you exhale to reach back with both hands to hold heels

Options:

  • Feet flexed or pointed
  • Hands through heart center
  • One arm extended by ear with other arm reaching towards heel
  • Chin can be tucked in or head dropped back

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