Backbend Yoga Poses: How-to, Tips, Benefits, Images, Videos
Opening up in the spine and chest feels great and strengthens our connection to intuition. Here are some poses to help get you started.





Cow Pose
- From hands and knees, arch your back so your belly drops toward the floor and chest opens in front of you. More on Cow Pose >>










Cat Pose
- From hands and knees, round your back so you spine curves upward, and relax your head toward the ground, releasing your neck. More on Cat Pose >>










Camel Pose
- Stand on your knees with toes tucked, knees hip width apart. Reach your hands one at a time to your heels. More on Camel Pose >>









Upward Facing Dog - Try relaxing everything in your body other than what you need in your arms to hold you. More on Upward Facing Dog Pose >>



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Cobra Pose
- Lie face down with legs extended about 6 inches apart, tops of feet on the ground. Bring palms under shoulders, and gently press down, slowly lifting your upper then middle... More on Cobra Pose >>








Bow Pose - Lie down on your stomach, with arms extended back along your sides. Bend your knees, and reach your hands back to hold the outsides of your ankles. Press your knees and ankles behind you... More on Bow Pose >>










Bridge Pose
- Lie flat on your back.Bend your knees straight up, bringing heels just behind your hips. More on Bridge Pose >>


 






Wheel Pose - Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees straight up, bringing heels just behind your hips. Bring hands on either side of your head, fingers pointing back toward your body. More on Wheel Pose >>



 





Lord of the Dance Pose - While standing, shift your weight onto one foot. Bend your other knee, lifting your foot up behind your thigh with the knee pointing down. More on Lord of the Dance Pose >>











 
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About the Author

Mike is a guide and resident healer at Strala Yoga in New York. Named “Best Mover” by MindBodyGreen and one of Shape Magazine’s Hottest Trainers, he’s practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than three decades, including tai chi, qigong, and shiatsu.

In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions, by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. As he got older, he happily become more interested in supporting bodies than disrupting them, and continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university.

Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the U.S. and England, Mike left his healthcare roots. He worked at a steel mill for a while, joined a web company, and then founded a few more. He now serves on the board of Odyl, which helps people discover books on Facebook.

As Strala's co-founder, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, become their own best caregivers, and live happy capable lives. Mike is a mountaineer, runner, cyclist, skier, and snowboarder. Check out Michael's MBG Video Course, The Complete Guide To Yoga.

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