This week’s clan of poses at our studio are Purva Pratana Sthiti (backward extensions) commonly referred to as “backbends.” Where foward bends “cool” the nervous system, backbends “heat” or energize the nervous system. Here is my lesson plan for tomorrow’s Basic I class designed for people new to yoga or who want to rework the fundamentals.
Tadasana/Urdvha Hastasna (Mountain pose with upward facing hands)
Utkatasana (Fierce Pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana at wall (Downward facing dog pose)
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I pose)
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four limbed staff pose)
Bujangasana I (Cobra I pose) notice how arms are straight
Urdvha Mukha Svanasana (Upward facing dog pose)
Salabhasana I (Locust I pose)
Ustrasana (Camel pose)
Chatuse Padasana (Four Footed Pose) note use of the strap to learn arm rolling out action
Adho Mukha Svanasana arms and legs mat width to neutralize spinal muscles
This sequence gradually contracts the back muscles which are released with the wide Adho Mukha Svanasna, so please don’t omit this pose from the sequence. It is ill advised to do a deep forward bend immediately after a backbend. Why? Think of the spine as a wire hanger. If you bend a wire hanger back and forth it will break. Whereas if you bend it in the same direction, it gets stronger. If the back is tender after this sequence elevate legs on a chair or up the wall.
Have a wonderful practice!