We are taking it up a notch with this month’s Yoga challenge: the YogaBellies #bendandnotbreakchallenge!

Doing regular backbends can help to protect your balance by increasing mobility and strengthening the supporting muscles around the skeleton.

Here are 5 backbend poses you can try:

1. Bridge

The Bridge pose – can be energising, rejuvenating, and luxuriously restorative. This pose stretches the chest, neck, and spine while stimulating the abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid and rejuvenating your tired legs. This also calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression. 

2. Cobra

The Cobra Pose – is best known for its ability to increase the flexibility of the spine. It stretches the chest while strengthening the spine and shoulders. It also helps to open the lungs, which is therapeutic for asthma. This pose also stimulates the abdominal organs, improving digestion.

3. Fish

The Fish Pose – stretches the front of the body, particularly the throat, chest, abdomen, hip flexors, and intercostals. It strengthens the upper back muscles and the back of the neck, which improves spinal flexibility and posture. Fish Pose also opens up the lungs, which improves breathing and helps to relieve respiratory ailments by positively stimulating the muscles of the abdomen. It also helps to relieve constipation and menstrual pain. Regularly practicing Fish Pose will energise the body, and reduce fatigue and anxiety. 

4. Wheel

The Wheel Pose – stretches the chest and lungs while strengthening the arms and wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine. This also stimulates the thyroid and pituitary, increases energy and counteracts depression, and is therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility, and osteoporosis. 

5. Bow

The Bow Pose – stretches the entire front of the body, ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen and chest, and throat, and deep hip flexors. This also strengthens the back muscles, improves posture, and stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck. 

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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.

I believe Yoga is for everyone.