Assisted Backbends with a Backbench
This post will demonstrate how one can use the backbench as a prop to assist in some backbend poses, as well as some restoratives.
Backbends are exhilarating, challenging, awakening and dynamic. They require front/back body, wrists/arms/shoulders/legs strength and mobility. Not accessible to all, a bench is a great prop to support or assist in lifting into a backbend!
Last photo: 2 folded blankets to lift the chest. More blankets or blocks can be placed under the pelvis to lift it in order to stretch the hip flexors. The hands are holding the bottom bench and the crown of the head is on the floor as in Inverted Staff Pose/ Viparita Dandasan.
Supported Inverted Staff Pose/Viparita Dandasan & variations: 2 folded blankets to lift the chest, the hands are holding the bottom bench and the crown of the head is on the floor.
Assisted Full Back Arch/Urdhva Danurasan: Hands on blocks
Assisted Full Back Arch/Urdhva Danurasan: Hands on bench
Assisted Full Back Arch/Urdhva Danurasan: Feet on bench
Assisted Inverted Staff Pose/Viparita Dandasan
Sliding down, supporting head.
Holding the bottom bench, adjusting the shoulders and head.
Placing the hands, interlocking the fingers behind the head, walking back and lifting the chest.
Bringing the heels down, maintaining the lift by keeping the legs, buttocks, forearms and shoulders engaged.
Supported Bridge/Setu Bandha: here the apex of the bench is to the chest, if you place the narrow end of the bench to the chest it will decrease the lift of the chest and you may prefer this.
Supported Leg-up-the-wall/Viparita Karani
Supported Cross Legged Forward Bend/Adho Mukha Sukhasana.
Please seek guidance from a qualified teacher to gain full instructions and personal adjustments. Backbends may not be safe or suitable for people with degenerative joints or special health conditions.