Yoga Practice: Seated Backbends

Posted on September 5th, 2012 by in Yoga

The heart beats in a faithful and constant rhythm throughout a lifetime. To keep the heart nourished and happy, heart-opening backbends can work wonders. Backbends create space for energy to move more freely to and from the heart, connecting one to the qualities of love, security, and compassion. Backbends also enhance circulation, nourish the spine, increase lung capacity, and regulate the endocrine system.

Try a simple, seated backbend to help you open your heart this winter. Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your spine tall.

  • Root down through your seat while lifting up through your chest and the top of your head, keeping your shoulders and belly relaxed.
  • Take your arms behind your back and interlace your hands.
  • On an inhalation, lengthen your arms and press your knuckles toward the floor.
  • Lift up through the center of your chest so your upper spine arches.
  • Let your shoulders release away from the ears and press down through your seat.
  • Take five to ten deep breaths. Keep your awareness in your chest as you breathe deeply.
  • Release and take a moment to absorb the effects of the pose.


About Janna Delgado, BFA, RYT 500

Janna Delgado, RYT 500, is a senior faculty member at Kripalu. An Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist, Kripalu Yoga teacher, and AFAA-certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, Janna is Director of Yoga in the Schools for the Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL). Formerly a program leader for the IEL’s Yoga for Weight Loss program, Janna is currently the Program Advisor for Kripalu’s Healthy Living immersion program Fitness and Yoga Retreat and leads workshops for Kripalu’s R&R Retreat program. She is a regular contributor to Kripalu publications.

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