Oh boy, if I had the cure for the 3 p.m. slump, I’d make millions! While researching for this series, I found a common theme when it comes to a yoga flow and increased energy – I never would’ve guessed but it’s BACKBENDS!
- Sphinx – “the infant of all backends”
For sphinx, start on your tummy, legs together and thighs actively rolled inward, toes pointed. Stack your elbows under your shoulders, forearms in front of you and palms flat on the mat. Lift and open your chest with a mild backbend; at the same time, tighten your core, scooping out your lower abdomen without clenching your bottom or quadriceps.
- Cobra- not to be confused with Upward Dog
Spread your palms wide on the mat, wrists under shoulders, keep elbows tucked in close to sides, pushing the mat away. Some people get cobra and upward dog mixed up which is fine – what is comfortable for you is different than the yogi 2 mats down! However, for cobra, you want to maintain contact between the pubis bone and the mat. In upward dog, thighs and hips come off the mat with elbows extended*
- Bridge – see previous post: Yoga for Digestion
Camel is a challenging pose for me and many others. Molly calls the modification for Camel, “pregnant lady” pose!
The correction I make most for this pose is to lift the bottom OFF the heels. You want to kneel at the front of your mat. Your toes can be tucked under to stretch out the sole or tops flat on the mat. Roll the shoulders back and with thumbs pointing inward, reach for the ankles. I like to place my hands on the small of my back and lean my entire upperbody, as one piece, back, causing my pelvis to extend forward, creating the backbend! This is a whole front body stretch especially in the hip flexors and side note, it feels awesome if you’ve been sitting, hunched over at a desk all day – it will improve your posture with repetition!