We’re finally doing full thoracic spinal extension! 😀 This is like your upward dog position. In this version my legs are down and are widely separated. The deeper your backbend, the wider your legs.
Please go slow on this. Allow your lowback and shoulders to dictate how far up you go-esp if you have lowback concerns. How high you arch up is not what really matters here! What matters is arching up as high as you can keep your form clean!
This means-keeping your core connection (p.f. and t.a.), your serratus connection to keep your shoulder blades in neutral and being able to breathe in your ribcage (avoiding letting the breath go into your belly). Work your gills!🐟
You can use your breath here to assist your backbend. Your spine naturally goes into a little extension as you inhale. So, on your inhales, if it feels okay and you don’t lose your other form, use your inhale to arch up a little more.
Equally distribute the curve throughout your spine so you have a nice and even backbend. Avoid “banana back”, i.e. when the curve is dumped only into the lowback. Watching yourself profile is very helpful here. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re in banana back! Once you feel you are in an backbend, where you are equally distributing the curve throughout your spine, gently reach your chest forward-like you have a light shining out of your sternum and you want to shine it out in front of you. You can use your hands to assist you with that by pressing them into your mat and then having the feeling like you are trying to pull your mat to you. ⚠️ Just make certain you don’t lose your serratus and go straight into your pecs to do that! ⚠️ It’s so easy to let your pecs take over here and lose your serratus. Be hyper aware here! Stay scooped out in your armpits to keep that sensation of firing your serratus. You will feel your triceps for sure here and that’s okay because your elbows are pointing to behind you.
Work your hand positioning in this-don’t be afraid to explore the relationship of your arms to your backbend. You may need to bring your hands out wider or further forward or closer to your body. It all depends on YOUR body- your arm length and torso length. And where you can keep your scaps(shoulder blades) in neutral.👍
Watch out for your pelvis as well. It will want to maybe rotate or one hip will want to lift higher than the other.
How deep can you backbend before you lose serratus? You’ve usually lost serratus when that second set of shoulders (you want to avoid) start creeping up!
INHALE-extend your spine. Peel up sequentially. Start with your head and neck. #spinalmatching
EXHALE- peel back down. Come down sequentially! Think about your body as your replace it back to your mat. It should come down lower ribs, upper ribs, shoulders, head.
You can come up and hold for as many cycles of breath as you can-keeping your form clean.