Backbends are some of my favorite yoga poses. Since our bodies rarely have the opportunity to bend this way, not only is arching the spine a treat but it stretches the front part of your body quite nicely. Not only that, but increasing flexibility in your spine is a great way to stay healthy and avoid lower back pain. Since full backbends (Wheel pose) can be intimidating and challenging, give this variation a try. In it you use your partner's body as support, and be able to gently roll back into the pose.
For detailed instructions
- Partner #1 (man) sits on the floor with his knees bent and his feet hips-width distance apart. Partner #2 (woman) sits on his knees facing him.
- She then extends her legs out and Partner #1 presses his arms against them to hold her in place.
- When she's ready, she places her hands on his shins, and gently arches back. To help her lower her torso smoothly, she walks her hands down Partner #1's shins until her head is on the ground. She can straighten her arms and press the backs of her hands into the ground for a little support.
- Partner #2 stays like this in a backbend for as long as she wants, and when she's had enough, she can walk her hands back up Partner #2's shins and also uses her abs to help her sit up. Then they switch positions so Partner #1 can have a turn.