VIDEO | April Spotlight: Backbends (Ashtanga Vinyasa Baby Primary Series)

Welcome to the backbends part of the Ashtanga Baby Primary Series sequence (not suitable for beginners). Following from the seated sequence, backbends stimulate and energise the central nervous system. Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra, meaning ‘Unstuck’) is related to backbends (and other asanas! All asanas and all chakras relate to one another!)

PLEASE READ:

Health and Safety note on pregnancy: Please do not practice in your first 12 weeks if you are pregnant, and make sure to have clearance from your doctor; practicing after 8 weeks (minimum) after you have given birth. Recommend getting the all-clear from your GP before practicing. Sequencing: Please make sure you have preceded with dhyana (meditation), warms up, Namaskar, and seated. ALWAYS warm up before your practice. Warm ups are asanas themselves, so make time for these and you will still be feeling the love in your knees, ankles, wrists and – most important, your soul – at 100 years old!

ASSISTS & MODS:

Salabhasana & Dhanurasana:

-Prop a rolled up mat under your belly in Salabhasana variations (Locust) and Dhanurasana (Bow) to help lift you up Dhanurasana

-Use a Belt if you cannot reach your legs in Dhanurasana (Bow) Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

-Place a Block between your feet (and knees if you want to just check the alignment is correct!); can also place a block under your sacrum as a modification (or bolster); do not practice without some experience in these asanas, please.

Urdhva Dhanurasana:

-Lengthen out through the legs in Wheel (not creating the C-Shape!) Press down through the feet! Toes slightly in. Come down with tucking chin to chest, then lower your Shoulders FIRST, then NECK second, HEAD last! Remember, Wheel is not for beginners — take another bridge as option

– Do not practice Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana) if you are not an advanced yogini/yogi. Take caution in backbends, especially your ankles, wrists, lower back, and neck.

Note on filming: This was filmed in 2020 during lockdown and amidst moving house (appreciate your understanding re: the space – but my aim is not to make this video look pretty, it’s to share the gift of Yoga and help you build a practice – wherever, whenever! Keeping it authentic is key.)

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