Backward Bending Yoga Poses

Backward-bending poses energize and open the body, particularly the chest cavity. They strengthen the upper body, increase spinal flexibility, and stimulate the nervous system Backward-bending poses should not be done if you have knee injuries, high blood pressure, heart disease, or if you are pregnant. You should rest in the Corpse Pose after these poses to replenish your energy before moving on.

Dhanu means “bow.”


Improves spinal elasticity; tones the abdominal organs; increases vitality.


1. Lie on your stomach, face down, forehead on the floor.

2. Bend the knees. Keeping your head forward, reach back with your right arm and hold your right ankle; with your left arm reach back and hold your left ankle.

3. The weight will be balanced on your abdomen.

4. Exhale and gently pull your legs up by raising your knees off the floor as you lift your chest slightly.

5. Lift your head and look straight ahead. You may rock back and forth in this position. Breathe.

Note: This pose has many stages. In the beginning you may be able to hold your calves, not your ankles, or you may not be able to raise your legs or chest off the floor.

Backward Bending Yoga Poses Photo Gallery

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