6 Steps To Building A Backbend Sequence Using The
One Minute Yoga Sequence Builder
Know Thy Golden Rule
There is only one golden rule when it comes to building a sequence.
Your job as a yoga teacher is make sure each and every pose flows gracefully into the next (unless you’re teaching Yin Yoga).
Disruptive Flow Example
Standing backbend to sitting in Lotus to Standing Forward bend.
Going from standing to sitting to standing is chaotic and a waste of energy. The transition from one pose to the next should be done with the absolute minimal amount of effort.
Graceful Flow Example
Standing backbend to Standing Forward bend to Downward Facing Dog.
Open The One Minute Yoga Sequence Builder
Open up the One Minute Yoga Sequence Builder and drag & drop the asanas you want in the sequence. Below is the backbend themed sequence I created within 5 minutes of opening the One Minute Yoga Sequence Builder.
Teach Physical Benefits
Here are some physical benefits of practicing backbends:
- Firms buttocks
- Improves posture
- Stimulates core muscles
- Strengthens spine, arms, wrists
- Stretches lungs, shoulders, abdomen
Teach Inner Benefits
The more I teach yoga, the more interested I get in the hidden, esoteric magic that takes place when “practicing an asana”.
Willingness To Expand
Backbends can be quite daunting for yoga students because it requires of them a willingness to expand. Most people get very comfortable with their inner and outer contractions (a.k.a problems and injuries). It’s almost a badge of honour to have something to moan about (especially my fellow Brits). However, when you get into a backbend, you very literally are being open to the gifts of the Universe. You immediately cease all unconscious moaning and complaining and lighten up. It’s as if you’re saying to the Universal Powers, “Yep, I’m ready to receive all the light and joy you have to offer.”
Surrender & Happy Endorphins
The other esoteric magic weaved into “backbends” is that it’s a surrender.
Think about it….
to open your back, to “back bend”, you have to open your chest to the world. You are quite literally exposing the most vulnerable part of your body, your heart, and allowing yourself to surrender and let go. You’re turning off your inner Fight Or Flight switch and flipping a new switch that turns on your inner Joy.
Most newbie yoga students won’t remember the last time they allowed themselves the luxury of opening up. In many cases students will have been “closed down” (shoulders slumped, chest down) physically and therefore mentally for years. It’s absolutely impossible to “be open mentally” if your body language is closed down (shoulders slumped, chest down). The ancient yogis have known this little-known secret for thousands of years. They understood that simply getting into a “backbend” for a few seconds immediately changes your entire body chemistry and releases happy endorphines. At a cellular level, when you practice a backbend, happiness molecules (endorphins) produced within the brain circulate in the blood, and send a signal to every cell that you’re happy. So, anytime you feel down or fatigued, practice a backbend and you’ll immediately flood your brain with endorphins, triggering a happy state of mind.
Letting Go Of Perfection
During a backbend your student is asked to be brave, giving up fear to more deeper in the pose. If the student moves into a backbend while trying hard to keep in control, their shoulders tense and the chest closes. So, backbends are a great way for students addicted to “perfection” to let go and start having fun.
Backbend Pose List
Below are some classic yoga backbends. Take a minute or two to consider a “flow sequence” that incorporates several of these poses.
- Bow Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Camel Pose
- Cat Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Crescent Moon Pose
- Crocodile Pose
- Frog Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Sphinx Pose
- Upward Facing Dog Pose
- Wheel Pose
Know Thy Counter Poses
Obviously the counter pose to backbends are forward bends. Here are some forward bends you could use within the sequence to make sure your students have a nice balance of backbends and forward bends…
- Seated Cow Face Forward Fold
- Seated Angle Posture
- Seated Forward Bend
- Seated Single Leg Forward Bend
- Standing Forward Bend
- Wide Legged Forward Bend
Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit
Create Unlimited Amount Of Yoga Sequences Effortlessly!
If you like the idea of building yoga sequences quickly and easily, take a peek at the One Minute Yoga Sequence Builder which is available within the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit (you’ll also find dozens of pre-made yoga sequences within the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit).