This simple move will totally invigorate you

Backbend, Bianca Cheah
Photography by Eddie New | Location Barre Body Sydney | Bianca wears Country Road Active

Did you know that all yoga poses have a deeper meaning to them? That’s why at the start of a class your yoga teacher will always set an intention for the day.

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The more I talk about yoga on my channels, the more I find people want to feel more invigorated at the start of their mornings. It’s like they want a kickstart so they can get out of the that sluggish ‘wish I was still in bed’ mode.

If this is you, then there’s a few poses that can help charge your batteries. My favourite and probably the most simple of them all is the Standing Backbend. Any poses that open your shoulders and chest are considered heart-opening postures. These poses expand the lungs and open the heart, which creates an invigorating feeling all over.

I’ve heard of some yogis staying in a back bend or wheel for a few minutes to then come out of it and feel a great high. (Note, you should only stay in a backbend for as long as you feel comfortable for otherwise you risk injury.)

So how do you do an early morning Standing Backbend?

  1. As soon as you wake up, stand at the end of your bed, or jump onto your yoga mat.
  2. Pop down on your knees, making sure your knees are hip-width distance apart and hands shoulder width distant apart, directly under your shoulders.
  3. Go through the motions of 5 rounds each of Cat (arched back) and Cow (hollowed back) poses to warm your spine up.
  4. Now in neutral position, role up into an Upward Dog.
  5. Exhale push back into a Downward Dog.
  6. Gently walk to the top of your mat.
  7. Stand with your feet hip width distance apart, arms rested and palms open by your side.
  8. Close down your eyes and breathe.
  9. Listen to your breath, inhale through your nose and exhale out of your nose.
  10. Now inhale and raise your arms wide above your head so that your palms touch one another and form a prayer hand position.
  11. Stay here for one breath.
  12. On your exhale, gently and slowly bend back keeping your biceps by your ears.
  13. As you inhale, gently come up a few centimetres, then on your next exhale gently try to bend back again. It’s really important that you exhale into a pose as this is how you can go deeper.
  14. Focus on your breath, and if you’re up for a challenge to test your balance, close your eyes.
  15. Once you’ve felt that you’ve had enough, gently bring yourself up using your core.
  16. Now fold forward to stretch your spine the other way and gently, vertebrae by vertebrae, role up until your are in standing comfortably in Tadasana (the mountain pose).
  17. How do you feel? Like you’re ready to take on the day?