fiona stang photo: noel fox

Back Bend (Urdvha Danurasana):

Benefits: Opens the entire front body (the thighs, the psoas, the abdominal muscles). Nourishes the spine. Great pose to relieve depression or fatigue.

Technique: Begin by lying on the back with the heels under the knees.

Bring the hands to floor beside the ears with the middle fingers pointing directly towards the shoulders.

As you exhale, press evenly with the hands and the feet to lift the pelvis.

Keep the breath flowing, resisting the tendency to hold the breath.

Back up if you feel any uncomfortable pinching the lower back. Remember this is a frontal body stretch, not a lower back pinch.

Beginner’s Tip:

"Bridge Pose" may be a more suitable option for many of us. Keep the shoulders on the floor and lift the pelvis upwards by pressing the feet.