This pose is a great way to strengthen the whole body, to open the chest and shoulders and on a deeper, more emotional level also your heart.

Prep Pose:

    • Bhujangasana
    • Sets Bandhasana
    • Sarvangasana
    • Virasana

How to get in there:

Lie on your back. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor with your legs hip wide apart.

Bend your elbows and place your palms beside your head, fingers pointing away from your head.

Press your feet actively into the floor, exhale and push your pelvis off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel.

Then start to firmly press your hands into the floor and your shoulder blades against the back to lift up and away from the ground.

Press your feet and hands into the floor and lift your head while straightening your arms.

For more advanced students:

Once in the pose, lift your heels away from the floor and press your tailbone towards the ceiling. Walk the feet a little closer to your hands to increase the depth of the backbend.

Stay in the pose anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds or more. Repeat anywhere from 3 to 5 times.

Modifications and Props:

You can support your hands on two blocks to help yourself lift a bit higher. Be sure to place the blocks against a wall to avoid slipping.

Contraindications:

    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Headache
    • Heart problems
    • High or low blood pressure

Benefits of the pose:

    • Strengthens arms, wrists and legs as well your abdomen and spine
    • Stretches the chest and lungs
    • Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary
    • Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility and osteoporosis

Follow up poses: Ardha Matsyendrasana, Supta Padangusthasana.

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