Although backbends are a fundamental part of yoga, they might be intimidating if you're new to the discipline. To help you get started, scroll down below to discover 8 beginner-friendly backbends that you can do from the comfort of your home.
What Are Yoga Backbends?
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In yoga, backbends are poses that require you to round the front of your body, creating a pronounced and extended curve in your spine. They can be performed by anyone, regardless of their degree of yoga experience, as long as they are mindful and practice at an intensity that feels good for them.
The Benefits of Backbends
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Backbending yoga poses are excellent for the physical and emotional well-being of the body. On the physical side, they can help with neck problems and improve the mobility of your lumbar and thoracic spine. They also assist in enhancing bodily balance and posture, which can help prevent falls. Additionally, they help to improve flexibility and strengthen and support the body's core muscles, which promotes a healthy heart and a faster metabolism.
On the emotional side, there are studies that show that backbends have similar positive effects on the brain as some antidepressants. It was discovered that these yoga postures have "expansive chest opening properties" that encouraged relaxation and improved mood.
Beginner Friendly Back Bending Yoga Poses
If you're looking for backbends that are suitable for beginners and that will eventually let you progress to more advanced backbends, here are 8 postures that will help you:
1) Bridge Pose
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The Bridge Pose is excellent for improving posture and reducing the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting and computer use. As the posture gently stretches your stomach, chest, and the area surrounding your shoulders, your lumbar spine, buttocks (glutes), thighs, and ankles are all strengthened.
To get into this pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Bring your feet up towards your glutes (so that if you reach your hands towards your feet, the tips of your fingers reach the backs of your heels). Hold for a few breaths and then slowly lower yourself back down, starting at the top of your spine and finishing at the bottom.
2) Extended Puppy Pose
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The Extended Puppy Pose is one of the simplest and most basic yoga poses, making it ideal for beginners. It combines two different asanas, the Child Position, and the Downward-Facing Dog pose. Along with other body parts, it strengthens your upper body, hips, belly, and hamstrings.
To get into this pose, start in a child's pose and extend your arms straight out in front of you. Then, raise your hips, and if you can, extend your chin forward until it rests on the floor. Hold for a short while, then return to your starting position.
3) Cow Pose
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The Cow Pose is an excellent way to get started with backbends. It releases tension and tightness while strengthening your back and stretching your neck, chest, and hips.
To get into this pose, begin in a tabletop position with your knees beneath your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Maintain a neutral spine while pressing your hands and fingers into the ground. As you breathe in, raise your chest to the ceiling while lowering your belly to the mat. As you breathe out, return to a tabletop position.
4) Camel Pose
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The Camel Pose helps to stretch the body as it prepares the body for deeper backbends.
To get into this pose, get on your knees and place your hands on your lower back to stabilize your spine. Then, slowly lean backward and release your hands one at a time, bringing them to your heels.
5) Cobra Pose
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The Cobra Pose is probably the first asana that springs to mind when thinking of yoga backbends. This pose is ideal for beginners and serves as the perfect counterweight to opening out the front of the body.
To get into this pose, lay on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Take a deep breath in and raise your chest a little bit. Hold for a few breaths, then breathe out and come back to the starting position.
6) Bow Pose
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The Bow Pose develops core and chest balance while assisting with back flexibility. Before doing this pose, make sure you've warmed up your spine.
To get into a Bow Pose, lay flat on your stomach and position your arms at your sides with the palms of your hands facing up. By bending your knees, bring your feet as close to your glutes as you can. Reach back and hold the outside of your ankles with both hands. Push your heels and thighs off the ground at the same time. This should lift your head and upper torso. Hold for a short while, then return to your starting position.
7) Tiger Pose
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The Tiger Pose is an excellent warm-up for a variety of deeper backbend poses, including the Wheel Pose, Bound Half Moon, Candy Cane, and even upside-down practice like Scorpion.
To get into this pose, place your hands and knees on the ground. This is the starting position. Now extend the opposite arm and elevate one leg. Maintain this pose for three full breaths. Switch sides, get back into the starting position, and extend your arm and leg on the other side. To maintain a straight spine, you can look down at the floor or mat.
8) Fish Pose
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The Fish Pose strengthens your neck, hip flexors, and upper back, which improves flexibility and posture.
To get into this pose, place your head on the floor, bring your hands to your sides, and press through the ground while lifting your chest to bend your back. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can raise your hands.
Backbends are excellent for improving your posture, balance, and flexibility. The above poses are ideal for beginners.
If you're having trouble easing into these movements, use a yoga wheel. Yoga wheels can help you perform backbends comfortably and securely without hurting yourself. To shop for yoga wheels that you can rely on, check out Acupoint.