Today's Practice: Backbends Galore

For today, I'll just give you my practice.   I decided to focus on backbends, and worked in quite a few.  I haven't practiced natarajasana, or cosmic dancer pose,  in a long time, so I threw that one in.  I noticed I was able to go significantly deeper into the pose.  My back was strong, my hips flexors were more open, and my standing leg was steady.  It's always interesting to revisit a pose I've neglected for a while.  The effects of my practice make themselves known.

I started with 20 minutes in seated meditation and pranyama, working up to inhale and exhale retention cycles
6 cat-cows
child's pose
downward dog, incorporating any movement that feels good
3 surya As
3 surya Bs
warrior I
warrior II
extended side angle
ardha chandrasana
ardha chandra chapasana
inhale back to warrior II
repeat on the other side.

tree pose - 5 breaths with hands in prayer position, five with arms up

inhale to uttitha hasta padangusthasana D with arms overhead
exhale to warrior III for five breaths
inhale back to UHP D, exhale to release
repeat on the other side.

anjaneyasana - high lunge variation, with back leg straight and strong, really working the backbend here
revolved side angle - 5 breaths with hands pressed together in prayer position, elbow pressing into the outer thigh, then 5 breaths with the bottom hand to the outside of the foot and the top hand reaching straight up
lizard pose

eka pada koundinyasana II - 3 breaths
exhale to jump back
repeat on the other side.

intense side stretch
revolved triangle
inhale knee to chest for five breaths in a one-legged plank
exhale leg down for eka pada rajakapotasana - 10 breaths folding forward, then five with the back foot tucked in the elbow crease, hands clasped behind the head... I'm loving this backbend/shoulder opener
firelog pose
repeat on the other side.

tripod headstand
lift into bakasana to jump back
vinyasa to seated.

upavishta konasana - 10 breaths
baddha konasana - 10 breaths

marichyasana A
marichyasana C
ardha matsyendrasana
repeat on the other side.

navasana, lift up - 3 times

inhale to plank, exhale to stomach
shalabasana- 5 breaths with arms extended, then 5 with hands clasped behind the back
ardha bhekasana

bhekasana - variation with the fingers pointing down the tops of the feet, drawing the elbows together...  I can't figure out how to swivel the fingers forward on both sides at once for the final hand position
dhanurasana - 3 times, 5 breaths each

ustrasana - 10 breaths
child's pose


arm pressure balance
firefly pose - 1 breath
exhale to bakasana - 1 breath
exhale to jump back

bridge pose
urdhva dhanurasana - 10 breaths, lifting each leg for a few breaths, then a few breaths walking the feet toward the hands.  Yesterday, I saw my feet in this pose for the first time... my left heel to be exact.  It was wonderfully disorienting.
paschimottanasana - 10 breaths, gradually lengthening
shoulderstand - ten breaths

handstand practice - I got one without touching the wall!  It didn't last very long, one exhale, maybe, but I was happy.
child's pose

headstand - 25 breaths
tolasana - 5 breaths each way
savasana - 5 minutes.


  1. Michelle - Lizard pose, aka Utthan Pristhasana, is a high or low lunge with the forearms on the floor to the inside of the front foot. It's a nice hip opener during the standing sequence if you want to be still but keep a little heat going in the legs at the same time.