This post is part one to my ‘Advanced Backbend’ blog posts. Please make sure you read my ‘notes’ section at the end because these are very ADVANCED poses and should only be tried by Advanced Yogi’s – Beginners Backbends coming!!
Standing Backbend (Supported)
Standing Backbend (Unsupported) and Variations
Urdhva Dhanurasana and Variations
Deep Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose/Full Wheel Pose) Variation w one hand to foot
It took me 9 months of Urdhva nearly every practice to get to this point.
Kapotasana and Variations
Please see my Notes at the bottom of the post regarding these poses before you even think of attempting Kapotasana, it’s Prep Poses and Variations
Ardha Kapotasana / Ardha Ustrasana (Unsupported) – w hands in
Ardha Kapotasana / Ardha Ustrasana (Unsupported) – w hands in Prayer at Chest
Kapotasana (Prep Pose) Variation on head w hands to torso in prayer
Kapotasana (Prep Pose) Variation on head w arms to knees
Kapotasana (Full Pose)
Kapotasana (Full) Variation w one hand out in
Note:When people look at most of my asana pictures or another well developed yogi’s asana pictures, they automatically assume the asana is easy because the pose is performed correctly and looks effortless. It’s important to note (which I go into in an upcoming post) that success in most poses is achieved progressively over time,and performing an effortless execution of an asana requires work. The following Backbends are advanced Backbends which may look easy but are difficult both for the mind and body.
They should only be attempted by people with a strong previous history and knowledge regarding Backbends, and have an already well-established yoga practice. The main reason for the caution is that Ardha Kapotasana (Ardha Ustrasana), full Kapotasana and it’s Variation Poses and Prep Poses, are unsupported asanas. This means there is no support for neck or back. If you look at it, the bending of the neck involves hanging the head back and you have to have a strong previous history with poses like this (etc, Matsysana- Fish Pose) and be at-least at a high intermediate level in your yoga practice to even come close to being able to lean your head back. Most people don’t realize that Backbends involving the neck are scary at first because tilting the head back like this isn’t something that your body is anatomically programmed to do. This means that you have to get your body prepared by doing beginners and intermediate asanas, but you will also have to prep your mind. Your mind needs to be completely ready, so if you start to bend back and feel fear, your not ready yet.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, the way you exit these poses is equally, if not more, important than how you get into them and injury is more likely to occur by incorrect form when exiting. Basically, you do not want to hurt ANY area in your neck or face, so if your a beginner wait for my ‘Progressing into Kapotasana’ posts and tutorials to start trying these poses, or, go and see a yogi instructor in your area for assistance.I have been practicing yoga daily for well over a year, and I have just started to be able to do Kapotasana and it’s variation poses as I have progressively advanced with my back bending skills over time . In other words, Kapotasana and it’s variations have been a pose that I have started working on well into my practice, and it is in no way shape or form meant for beginners or even intermediates.