Backbends Yoga Poses | iHanuman


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Geometry: This pose takes Dhanurasana onto the side. Primary Actions:  1. Pull the hands against the fronts of the ankles to lift the legs as you simultaneously pull the legs away from the hands to lift the chest. 2. Roll the top of the thigh in and the back of the thigh out as you lift the inner leg and reach up through the inner heel to lift the legs further. 3. Lengthen the tops of the buttocks towards the knees to lengthen the lower back as you balance on your abdomen. 4. Lift the arms and legs to lengthen the entire body into the shape of a bow. 
Pose:Valakhilyasana Model: Kino MacGregor
From BKS Iyengar's "Light on Yoga", The Valakhilya were heavenly spirits the size of a thumb, produced from the Creator's Body. They are said to precede the Sun's chariot and to number sixty thousand. They are referred to in Kalidasa's epic poem Raghuvansa. This difficult asana is a continuation of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I. Do not attempt it until you have mastered Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I and can perform the latter comfortably and gracefully.
Model: Kate Hallahan Zuckerman
Geometry: In this prone back bending pose, the torso is lifted and supported by the arms. The pelvis and legs remain on the ground. The legs are stretched straight back. 
Model: Adri Kyser
Geometry: Standing on my shins, my feet and shins are parallel. My thighs are perpendicular to the floor. My chest stretches backwards and my arms are stretched straight with the hands on the heels (or palms on the soles of the feet).
Geometry: This pose is a variation of Salabhasana where the hands are interlaced behind the head, elbows shoulder-width or slightly wider.
Model: Elizabeth Shilling Credit: Matthew Sexton
Geometry:The four limbs of the hands and feet support the weight of the body. The body is straight, strong and steady like a staff. The hands are shoulder width and parallel. Hands in line with lower ribs.The legs are hip width and parallel. 
Christy Brock
Geometry: Hands Underneath Shoulders. Chest Lifted. Legs Stretched Back. Toes point straight back. And Legs straight. Arms Straight. Shoulders over wrists.Actions:Lie on the floor in a prone position. Face Downwards.
Geometry: Lying on the abdomen, the head, chest, arms and legs are extended and lifted from the ground. In the beginning the feet are separated. As one progresses the feet move together.
Model: Adri Kyser
Geometry: Chest and Legs are Lifted. The feet and legs are slightly apart. The arms are stretched straight to reach the ankles. The entire body is curved like a bow and is held with the arms as if forming a string to bend the bow.First Teaching:Lie on the abdomen, roll the fronts of the thighs in, bend the knees and bring the feet towards the buttocks.Take the arms behind and catch hold of the ankles, right ankle with the right hand and left ankle with the left hand.Grip the ankles, raise the chest, knees and thighs up away from the floor.The body rests on the lower abdominal area. The ribs and thighs do not touch the floor.Lift the head and look up.
Lois Steinberg PhD in Urdhva Dhanurasana, Upward Bow Pose
Supported on a chair, with hands and feet on floor or blocks; knees bent; pushing up if possible.Geometry: Supported by my Hands and Feet, my back is arched. My entire body is arched like a bow.
Model: Sara Agelasto Credit: Peter Agelasto
With the back on the floor, the back of the head, neck and shoulders remain on the floor. The pelvis is lifted and supported on a block. The Legs are extended.1. Lie on the floor, knees bent, toes pointing towards the wall. 2. Keep the head, neck and shoulders on the floor, press the feet on the floor and raise the hips/buttocks off the floor.3. Place a block vertically under the sacrum towards the tailbone.4. Straighten the legs, one at a time, the center of the back of the heels  on the floor.5. Externally rotate the arms and open the chest.6. Extend the arms along the floor towards the feet.
Chatush Padasana by Old Moon Yoga
The back of the head, neck, shoulders and upper arms are on the floor. The torso and hips are lifted, supported by the hands. The feet are parallel and in line with the sit bones or hips.1. Lie on the floor.2. Place the heels in line with the sit bones or slightly wider. Feet are parallel.3. Take the shoulder blades down and into the back. 4. Press into the feet to lift the hips and pelvis off the floor. 5. Keep the back of the head, neck and shoulders on the floor and support the hips with the hands. Watch A Video on Chatush Padasana produced by Yoga Journal's LiveMag.
Here is a video of Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher Mary Dunn demonstrating this pose: And a great sequence from Roger Cole using Paryankasana as a preparation for Kapotasana.
Supta Virasana with a Partner
Geometry: This asana is a variation of Virasana and is practiced lying down.Arm Variations:

Asana Sequences

This Sunday Morning session challenges you with two hours of Inversions and Backbends including Vrksikasana and Urdhva Dhanurasana followed by one hour of Restorative and Pranayama with an introduction to Anuloma Pranayama and Nadi Shodana Pranayama. All Lois' classes are taught in the Iyengar Tradition and the Advanced Classes are appropriate for students with several years study in Iyengar Yoga. Listen to and Download this class in our Download Store Here.
All of Lois' classes are taught in the Iyengar Style of Yoga. This class focuses on standing poses and culminates with Urdhva Dhanurasana over a chair. This is a well-rounded yoga practice including standing poses, forward bends, twists, back bends and inversions. Listen to and download this class here:
Lois begins her advanced classes with sutra studies. This class starts with Sutra IV.21. After a warm up, Lois teaches Urdhva Dhanurasana and Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana using a chair. You can download and listen to this class in our Download Store.
Inspired by the desire to nourish the kidney meridian which flows through the center of the body including the center line of the legs as well as the Urinary Bladder meridian which flows down the entire back of the body. Backbends can be very stimulating, but move through this challenging sequence slowly working to balance these meridians as opposed to over working and taxing these important energy centers. 
This sequence was inspired by Sarah Power's, "Yin Yoga Session for the Lung, Heart and Intestines" from her book Insight Yoga. Practice this as a restorative yin session or a more active hatha yoga sequence. The Lung and Large Intestine Meridians are found in the upper chest and arms. Practice with the intention of stimulating and balancing these meridians in your body. 
The Heart, Lung, Large and Small Intestine Meridans all run along the chest cavity around the physical heart and lungs and/or up and down the inner and outer arms. Keep your mind cool as you contemplate and practice this sequence.
All John's classes follow the Iyengar method of yoga, based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, the foremost living yoga teacher in the world. His rigorous approach emphasizes a balance between strength and flexibility, builds endurance, and develops Self-awareness through precision in movement and attention to subtleties of body, breath, mind, and spirit.In the Spring Session, John concentrates on strengthening poses to build stamina, like standing poses, abdominal strengtheners and arm balances. Listen to a Sample and Download this Class!
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