Sanskrit Name: Ustrasana
Come to a high kneeling position (feet flat) with your knees slightly parted. Reach back for your ankles with both hands, dropping your head and shoulders back. Engage your glutes and thigh muscles to keep your hips forward.
Beginners Tip: Tuck your toes under to lift your ankles up if you can’t reach with your feet flat. If it’s still difficult reach for one ankle at a time lifting the other arm up.
Backbanding Cobra Pose
Sanskrit Name: Bhujangasana
Lie on your front and bring your arms out in front of you. Adjust your hand position until you are comfortable – the closer your hands are to your body the more of a backbend the pose will be. Roll your shoulders away from your ears to ensure you’re not hunched up. Push through the mat with your hands, straighten your arms and look forward with a neutral gaze.
Beginners Tip: Move your hands further away from your body and hold the pose for less time when you start your practice.
Sphinx yoga Pose
Sanskrit Name: Salamba Bhujangasana
Lie on your front and bring your arms out in front of you, hands and forearms on the mat. Adjust your arms to find a comfortable bend. The closer to your elbows to your body the more intense the back bend. Push through the mat with your hands and push your chest forward. Ensure you relax your shoulders away from your ears and look forward with a neutral gaze.
Beginners Tip: Move your elbows further away from your body and hold the pose for less time when you start your practice.
Standing Backwards Bend Yoga pose
Standing Backwards Bend
Beginners Tip: Keep your knees bent when bending backwards. Alternatively, place your hands on your lower back instead of bringing them up above you. Hold the pose for less time when you begin practicing.
Sanskrit Name: Anuvittasana
Come to a standing position with your feet together. Bring your arms up above you. Bend your knees and drop your head, shoulders and arms back. Either stay with your knees bent or straighten them, engaging your glutes and thighs to keep your hips forward.
Bow Yoga Pose
Sanskrit Name: Dhanurasana
Lie on your front and bend your knees up. Keep your knees close together to begin with. Reach back and take hold of either your ankles or feet. Kick back into your hands, lifting your chest up off the mat.
Beginners Tip: Reach for one foot at a time. Hold the pose for less time when you begin practicing.
Fish Yoga Pose
Sanskrit Name: Matsyasana
Lie on your back with your legs out straight in front of you. Bring your arms down next to your body, forearms on the mat. Push through the mat with your hands lifting your torso off the mat. As your lift your torso tip your head back until you’re balancing on the top of your head.
Beginners Tip: Use some blocks – or a towel if you don’t have any blocks as props. Place the first block or towel between your shoulder blades, like down over it. Place the second block or prop under your head.