Standing Back Bend
- Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with legs hip-width apart, arms alongside the body and weight evenly balanced.
- Push the hips forwards slightly and gently squeeze the buttock muscles.
- Lift the sternum upwards, raise the arms with the palms facing forwards and look upwards.
- Push the stomach forward, the chest forward and diagonally upward and arch the back as much as you can without any discomfort.
- The general idea is to expand the front of our body as we ground our feet firmly downwards, while at the same time pushing the hips forwards and chest upwards.
- Opens up the chest and stretches the front of the body.
- Stimulates the central nervous system, increasing our energy.
- Strengthens the spine.
- Works the shoulder joints.
- Lifts the heart and our mood.
Precautions and Contra-indications
This pose puts intense pressure on the lower back area due to the way the upper body weight is distributed and transmitted. Therefore do not go deep into the pose, especially if your lower back is feeling sensitive.
Lower the arms if you feel dizzy (for example, due to high blood pressure). See variation for hand placement below.
Instead of raising the arms, place your palms facing downwards on your back behind your waist and draw your elbows in towards each other.
Another variation is to interlink your fingers behind your back and gently pull your hands downwards towards the floor behind you as you bend back.