Anahatasana | Marjarasana | Vajrasana
Ustrasana | Laghu Vajrasana | Virasana
After exploring the energies towards the center, towards the ground and out in all directions through prana, apana and vyana vayu, we begin to feel the grounding pulse of the heart through backbends.
The first way this unfurls is through Anahatasana. By rooting down through the fingers and pulling the palms of the hands energetically up through the armpits and towards the navel, we engage the grounding and cohesive force of the earth through the front of our body. This will be essential going forward; the key to backbending is actually front body strengthening.
After a few moments here, we come back to all fours and start to ripple through the spine in Marjarasana, using that energy to find space through the vertebrae.
A brief pause in Vajrasana with the palms facing up on the thighs gives a moment to float into the spaciousness of the spine.
From here we elevate the hips above the knees. By maintaining a strong connection through the front of the body down towards the earth, we begin to float the heart center higher while the back of the body softens into a bend. The hands can stay at the heart to keep the connection upwards, or drift to the lower back with the fingers pointing down, or move onto the heels if it’s spacious.
Stay in this variation as long as the breath feels full, or come back upright through the heart and into a second round.
If the legs are firmly grounded with the connection of the front of the body, begin to lead gently down with the crown of the head into Laghu Vajrasana. When the entire front body connects to the earth through the knees and shins and the breath can stay full in all directions, this is a potent backbend that is liberating, spacious and grounding all at once.
By leading with the heart simultaneously up to the sky and into the ground, we come back to an upright position and allow the energy of the backbend and inversion to settle in Virasana.