A backbend yoga routine may sound intimidating, but these kinds of moves don’t necessarily need to be intense. There are beginner backbend poses that can help you ease into those types of moves, while still reaping the tension-releasing benefits to both your upper and lower body.
Today’s 40-minute yoga video, which is the eighth and final installment of Sweat With SELF’s Yoga for Beginners series, will focus on backbends and back flexibility. In the routine, yoga instructor Rita Murjani—the chief of staff at mindful living brand Aduri who teaches at NYC-based studios SkyTing and Equinox—will take you through poses that work to stretch your shoulders, back, chest, legs, and glutes, as well as your core. These poses are great for beginners just getting started (Murjani offers tons of modifications for the moves throughout the routine) and they will also help you gain more familiarity with the movement so you can build on them in your future yoga practice.
In this video, you’ll begin with easy movement and flows that warm up your upper body, and then transition into flows that will get the blood flowing to your core and lower half, too, such as downward dog to plank. Then you’ll progress through poses that will open up your back, chest, and shoulders, such as twisted lizard pose and full locust pose. With the help of a yoga strap, you’ll also try out the dancer’s pose, a unilateral or single-sided move that hones your balance while opening up your chest and shoulders and stretching out your hip flexors. Murjani will also take you through a three-legged dog into fallen triangle pose to open up your upper body while making your glutes and core fire.
While this is the final video in Sweat With SELF’s Yoga for Beginners series, you don’t have to be done with yoga just yet! You can revisit any of the earlier videos—like this foundational introduction to basic poses, or this hip-opening routine—and slot them into your regular schedule!