This may look like something your younger self had no problem flipping into on the grass during recess, but as an adult, you can still do this fun move. If you take an Ashtanga Yoga class, this is part of the backbending series right before the closing sequence. Known as Tick Tock, it looks pretty challenging, I know, but there are a few modifications listed below you can do depending on your strength and flexibility levels.
It's very important to warm up before attempting Tick Tock. Work on this move at the end of the next yoga class you take, or after a run or bike ride and this yoga sequence that increases spinal flexibility.
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Walk your feet in a little closer to your hands.
- Bend your knees, lifting your heels, and push off the balls of your feet, lifting both feet into the air. Try to bring your hips over your shoulders as you bend your knees. If you want, you can pause in Scorpion with your feet close to or touching your head.
- Lower your feet over your head and then release them to the floor, coming into a backbend.
- Press into your feet as you rock your weight into your hands and lift your legs into the air, bringing your hips back over your shoulders.
- Release your feet back to the floor. Repeat five times.
Since this is a pretty advanced move, here are a few easier ways you can work on this pose.
- Practice the first half of this move by coming into Down Dog and just working on jumping your feet off the floor.
- Practice the second half of this move by beginning in backbend, working on jumping the feet off the floor. The key to success is walking your hands and feet as close together as is comfortable before trying to jump.
- If kicking with two legs is difficult, begin in Three-Legged Dog. Bend the knee of your bottom leg, kick off the ball of that foot, and kick your lifted leg over your head (like Handstand Split), releasing it to the floor. Come into backbend, lift one leg up, and kick off the bottom foot, lifting your legs up and landing in Down Dog. Be sure to practice kicking with both sides.
- If the first part of this move is easy for you (you have no problem kicking into handstand), do this move in front of a wall. Stand about three to four feet in front of the wall, kick your feet up (one at a time or both together), and walk them down the wall into backbend. Then walk them up the wall to get your feet up and over. Play around with the distance your hands are from the wall to ensure you have enough room to come into backbend without feeling pain in the spine.