Backbend your Shoulders!

For me backbends should actually be called shoulder bends. The opening of the upper back and shoulders has had a profound effect on my ability to do any backbending postures with ease as it allows you to not rely purely on the bending on the mid and lumbar spine. .
It encourages the upper back to open and creates a longer “arc” in your backbend rather then a hinge. If the shoulders are open it allows you to stack weight over the hands, which actually makes pushing up and engaging through the arms easier!!
.
.
Here are three targeted shoulder openers that I do for my backbends using the wall to help support me! Use these in combo with regular back openers like cobra, locust, upward dog, etc to help deepen and engage your shoulders & upper back in your backbend! .
.
Click on the link to my original post for a quick demo with some preps - I would only do these mid to end of my practice however as they are fairly deep stretches and should only be done once the body is warm and open.
.
1. Sit with you back to the wall and slowly reach back arcing the spine up until your finger touch the wall - think your chest lifting towards the sky not just hinging in your lower back. Slowly press into the wall to and feel how the added resistance aids your backbend deepening. Sit as close or far as you need - it doesn’t matter how far down your hands go, it’s more about the openness of the upper back and shoulders and how it feels in your body! .
2. Wheel pose against the wall - prep with bridge to ensure you back is nice and warm, then enter into wheel with your hands near the wall. Move your chest toward to wall wall slowly, - don’t push! - and aim to straighten the legs completely and press your upper chest flat on the wall. .
3. Lie face down saving the wall and pull your body upwards until your chest and arms are in a similar position to the wheel pose (flat on wall) but just upside down! This is a little harder as it take strength to enter as well as openness but irk it gradually until you’re able to move closer.
.
.
Take your time and work slowly - backbends take time and patience but when practiced they are so opening and beautiful in the body! Let me know how you get on below ⬇️

Aurora BowkettComment