Transforming Fear to Joy

Backbend Into An Open Heart — Part VI

If you have already practised my previous five backbend sequences, you recognize those practices are directed toward intermediate or advanced yogis. However, backbend yoga poses are introduced at the beginner level in order to encourage new students to adopt them as a daily experience.

The seven beginner backbends listed below could be inserted before any of the more advanced sequences previously posted here. I encourage you to experiment with them and then, if you want more, choose one of the previous sequences to complete your practice. Notice how adding these additional poses warms the body in preparation for more complex back bending.


  1. Connect the Right sit bone to the Right heel bone (down the back of the leg). Do the same on the Left side.
  2. Consciously move the front of the thighs toward the back of the legs.
  3. Soften the front low ribs toward the spine.

Beginner Backbends:

BITILASANA (Cow Pose) 3 – 5 REPS
– alternate with Cat Pose (rounded spine) if you wish

BHUJANGASANA (Cobra Pose) 2 – 3 REPS @ 5 Bs each
– shoulder blades release down toward waist
– pubic bone remains on floor

– shoulder blades release down toward waist
– thigh bones lift to back of leg

SETU BANDHA SARVANGASANA (Bridge Pose) 2 – 3 REPS @ 5 Bs each
– upper arms and feet press into floor to lift pelvis

SALABHASANA (Locust Pose) 5 – 10 Bs
– balance on low ribs and pubic bone
– extend out toes and fingers

DHANURASANA (Bow Pose) 2 REPS @ 5 Bs ea
– balance on low ribs and pubic bone
– move inner knees toward each other and inner upper shoulder blades away from each other

SALAMBA MATSYASANA (Fish Pose) 3 – 5 minutes
– medium-height block support under thoracic
– crown releases to floor unless head support is required

SAVASANA (Corpse Pose) 5 – 10 minutes

May your opened heart find peace, love and joy. Namaste.

Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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