May 28, 2015

#47 "Yoga Minute" Chair, Back-bend

"Chair, Back-bend" a powerful pose physically and especially mentally.

Sit in the middle of the chair with some distance between the chairs back and your back.  The soles of your feet grounded into the floor and the thighs parallel to the floor. Make adjustments depending on your body size. For example, If you have short legs support the feet and adjust yourself on the seat where it's the most comfortable.

Begin by pushing the hands into the thighs to lengthen your spine. Grab the arms of the chair behind you and inhale as you take the belly and chest out and up with the shoulders going back, shoulder blades coming together, elbows moving toward each other and your head tilting back. Don't hyper extend the neck (I'm showing hyper extension in the video) just enough tilt to be looking where the ceiling and wall meet. Feel the arch in your back and maintain that lift and arch. This also opens the chest stretching the respiratory system allowing for more breath to come in. Feel the strength in the pose. To come out, exhale as you bring yourself upright.

If the previous version was comfortable and you want to try a more advanced "Chair, Back-bend" then give this one a try. Start with the chair away from the wall and furniture so you have some space behind you. Sit against the chairs back making any adjustments so the thighs are parallel to the floor and the soles of the feet are grounded. Push the hands into the thighs to lengthen your spine. Take straight arms in front of you with interlaced fingers flipping the hands so the palms are facing away. Bend at the hips and come forward lengthening your spine forward with the arms now over your shoulders. Inhale, keep the length and bring the torso and arms up and continue into a back-bend over the top of the chair as far as is comfortable. Allow your head to tilt back with the chin tucked toward the chest without hyper extending (I'm showing hyper extension in the video). Hold the pose 20 to 30 seconds. To come out, exhale and bring your arms forward first to bring weight forward then your torso and head.

You can add padding to the top of the chair so you have less pressure against your back. Your muscles are actually pressing into the chair not the bones.

Benefits: Improves back pain, strengthens your back and abdomen, reduces head forward and good for scoliosis, and digestion. Helps bring your back into proper alignment. With the front body lengthened it allows for more air to come in. With the increased oxygen you'll have more energy and feel better. The actual back-bend tends to change your mood and help with depression by uplifting you and making you more positive.

If you have any pain afterwards in your neck or back, this pose might not be for you.

If you have a back condition check with your doctor before practicing this Back-bend pose.

Happy & Healthy
Yoga Chuck

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