Blocks for Better* Backbends

Yoga Blocks can help you feel both more support and provide an opportunity for you to open more deeply depending on how you use them. I love that my “style” of yoga focuses on both the therapeutic andĀ challenging aspects of Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga. The slides here demonstrate how to use the blocks to:

  1. Rest your lower back & help to lengthen your spine in a fairly neutral position. Use this for low back injury or strain as long as it doesn’t cause more pain. It is also an excellent way to lengthen your Psoas muscle without strain. This is a great pose for people who spend a lot of time in a sitting position throughout the day. It is a nice Restorative Yoga Pose.
  2. Use the block behind your shoulder blades to help open your upper back & chest. Use this if you slouch much or are just wanting to open up deeper in backbends.
  3. Use the block for stability to help open your shoulders for backbends & inversions.

*See the slide captions for a little commentary;-)

  1. This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    *Better is a loaded word – in this case – longer spine aids backbending / heart opening with less strain for your back & shoulders. Play nice – be kind to your body – it’s the only one you’ve got. xo Kate


Heart Opener ~ Chest & Shoulder Stretch

Use this short exercise to help open your heart center…. chest, shoulders, lungs. Directions are down below the slideshow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Interlace your fingers, and then unlock the pinkies – make a little temple with the little fingers to alleviate any knuckle pressure during the pose. Important – keep your elbows close to keep your shoulders safe and to receive the full benefit of the pose. Place your elbows against the wall at shoulder height. Keeping your elbows shoulder distance, walk your feet back until you feel you are in a comfortable position to lean your chest in towards the wall. With your heart and head reaching to the wall, stretch your hips back away from the wall to stretch your spine and open your heart center. As your flexibility increases, slide the elbows lower down the wall. Again, keeping the elbows close, begin to press your chest towards the floor. Remember that the purpose of the pose is to open your upper body, keep your low-belly toned so that you don’t overarch your lower back. In this deeper variation, you will be creating a sense of open-ness and integration that will aid you in some of the more advanced postures likeĀ full wheel and forearm balance. Be kind ~ breathe deep ~ Namaste.