One of our favorite back bends at Yogis Anonymous! Upward bow is a beautiful "heart opener", or front body opener that requires lots of leg strength, and the ability to straighten your arms when you lift up. If it's hard to straighten the arms, take bow pose, as that will open the muscles fascia and tissue that are making it difficult to straighten the arms in upward bow. Try to create equal space between the vertebrae. Think of the spine like you would a garden hose--try not to "kink" the hose, so you don't block the flow of energy!
Ready to work it?
Here are some classes featuring Upward Bow or Wheel Pose.
This practice is dedicated to the goddess, protector, divine mother, fierce warrior Durga. Tune into your own deep knowing, dial up your intuition, and let's get centered! Two blocks may be helpful, along with access to a solid wall!
In a perfect world, a backbend creates a perfect arc that opens the front body without any compression to the spine. A fitness ball gives you the support and feedback to create that arc, for a more spacious backbend with much greater ease. If you struggle to get your wheel up off the ground, the ball is a great way to build strength with the ball beneath as a safety net. OR skip it and stay in the yummy, supported extended bridge. Wait for the ball under your belly for the easiest plank of your life. And stay for the sweet savasana with legs on the ball.
A fun, dynamic flow sequence to energize your body and mind! Challenge yourself to stay present moment by moment, breath by breath. You can expect a gentle warm up, sun salutations, a new crescent flow, exalted Tadasana, twisted chair, happy cow and a relaxing savasana. Enjoy, yogis!
Need to get moving? Get ready for a fun and creative flow with some sneaky but powerful core work, and some extra love for your butt! You'll feel this tomorrow and think of me (kindly I hope ;)) Fun warrior 3 variations, lots of love for your hips and shoulders, time upside down, deep breathing, a quiet mind and an open heart. Let's move it, move it together! 2 blocks may be handy!
This is a deep back-bending, heart-opening flow! Expect lots of shoulder, chest and upper-back opening, love for the psoas, hip flexors, quads and hamstrings, standing balance, twists, core strengthening, arm balances and inversions! When we are sweaty I will offer you options for kapotasana prep and drop-backs. We start this practice with grounding and breath and after a deeply heart-opening practice, I will lead you in yoga nidra in savasana. Intermeditae students are welcome - I give building blocks and options for everything along the way, just make sure you listen to your body and treat it with respect and compassion! This is a fabulous practice for days when you have a good amount of energy, and times when you feel you need a boost in courage or are struggling with situational depression. This will open you right up!
50 minutes full of fun! After a stretchy warm-up, I take you through sun salutations and standing poses, linked by vinyasa. Strong beginners will find this class challenging, but doable. It's also a great practice for intermediate/advanced students needing a well-balanced, shorter practice.
By request, a flow for days when you're really short on time or struggling to focus, but want to get in your body and breathe, open every major muscle group, strengthen your core, take care of your spinal health (but also your emotional and mental health!) and then get back to the business of being awesome!