Type of pose: Backbend
Benefits: Strengthens the spine, opens the chest, improves spinal flexibility, stimulates the thyroid.
1. Come to lie on the back.
2. Bend the knees, bringing the soles of the feet parallel on the mat close to the buttocks.
3. Lift the hips up towards the ceiling.
4. Interlace the fingers behind your back and straighten the arms, pressing them down into the mat.
5. Roll one shoulder under and then the other.
6. Lift the hips higher.
7. Draw the chest toward the chin, but do not move the chin toward the chest.
8. Make sure the feet stay parallel.
9. Release the hands and bring the upper, middle, and then lower back down.
10. Rest, allowing the knees to knock together
When coming down, keep the hands interlaced under the weight of the body for a shoulder opener.
Advanced: Try relaxing the buttocks while keeping the thighs engaged in order to lift the hips higher.
Lift one leg at a time straight up to the ceiling.
Come into the pose from shoulder stand.